The US Plan for Weakening Hezbollah: a Civil War and the Exodus of the Christians

Hezbollah and its differences with the Christians of Lebanon

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

The Christian political and religious leaders of Lebanon are theologically distant from Twelver Shia; they have political and ideological objectives that fundamentally differ from those of Hezbollah. Gebran Bassil, the Leader of the larger Christian Parliamentary Group “Al tayyar al-watani al-Hurr” (Free Patriotic Movement – FPM) made this clear last Sunday in a televised statement in response to US sanctions over alleged corruption and his close political alliance with Hezbollah. However, these differences of ideology are a kind of insurance, a guarantee which prevents civil war in Lebanon and the exodus of Christians from the Middle East. “This (a civil war in Lebanon and the exodus of Christians) is what Israel wishes to see, a desire expressed overtly by US officials during private meetings,” Bassil revealed. Thus, questions have to be asked: what are the fundamental differences between Lebanese Christians and Hezbollah, and what does the US want from the Christian Lebanese so as to weaken Hezbollah?

Just after the day of the Presidential election, on the fourth of November, the US administration announced- in a move that seemed incomprehensible and without strategic or tactical benefit either to Israel or the US- that it was sanctioning the MP Gebran Bassil. Bassil said that the US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, visited him to give him an ultimatum and warned him of the start of US sanctions if he didn’t terminate the Hezbollah FPM alliance. Bassil rejected the threat, and President Donald Trump’s administration sanctioned him. Bassil decided to reveal the content of his meetings with the US officials to strike a balance between his relationships with Hezbollah and with the west. The Christian leader detailed the points of difference with Hezbollah in terms of “thinking, language and ideology”.

The Shia Hezbollah consider the US as “the great Satan, the head of the snake”, and as far as Israel is concerned, their objective is to end its existence. Hezbollah’s aim is clearly stated: to liberate Palestine. The Christians are not the only group who don’t share the same goal as Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Shia group of Amal led by Speaker Nabih Berri, considered to be the closest ally of Hezbollah, doesn’t share Hezbollah’s slogans and objectives. Berri, unlike Hezbollah, has excellent relationships with the west and with the Gulf states.

Furthermore, Bassil has said that the Christians of Lebanon believe the relationship with the US is essential- and that it should be treated accordingly. He said that he believes that Israel has the right to live in security when the guaranteed safety of Arab territories is also provided for, and the rights of the Palestinians are guaranteed based on King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia’s peace plan. Bassil here meant the return of the Syrian occupied Golan Heights and Lebanese territories, the right of return of the Palestinian refugees, and a state for Palestine in exchange for normalisation with Israel, as stated in the Saudi King’s initiative.

This same initiative was agreed to by the late President Hafez Assad prior his meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Barak in the year 2000 but it failed at the last minute.

Syrian History - President Hafez al-Assad and US President Bill Clinton in  Geneva in March 2000
The Syrian side, from right to left: National Security Adviser Abdul Raouf al-Kassem, President Assad, his interpreter Bouthaina Shaaban, Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara, the presidential note-taker Iskandar Luka. The US side, from left to right: Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, Secretary of State Warren Christopher, President Clinton, National Security Advisor Sandy Berger

(FACT: Hafez Assad never met with Barak. Hafez Assad met with CLINTON in Geneva in March 2000, not with Barak as the author claimed)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese President Emil Lahoud, both close allies of Hezbollah, agreed on King Abdallah’s peace plan initially proposed in December 2002.

(FACT: King Abdulla and others failed to pass the so called Arab initiative without ROR. Thanks for Presidents Lahoud and Bashar who insisted that the initiative Must contain the RIGHT OF RETURN, moreover, Lahoud prevented Arafat from addressing the SUMMIT, as planned, to declare Palestinian approval of the initiative as written by US ). Related Video

The Palestinian Authority (PLO) and Hamas are both calling for the right of return of refugees and two states in Palestine to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It is clear that Bassil doesn’t want to look as if he is totally in the arms of Hezbollah, nor does he accept a conditional relationship with the West when the stated conditions could lead to civil war in Lebanon. What Bassil did not share was the US Ambassador to Lebanon’s request to join, in one coalition, the Christian “Lebanese Forces” of Samir Geagea and the Kataeb, and the Druse of Walid Jumblatt- thus isolating Hezbollah.

The FPM believes the US request to isolate the Shia would divide Lebanon into two parts wherein one part Christians will be on one side of the country (with the US-supporting Lebanese Druse as allies) and Sunni and Shia on the other side. It would be effortless to create a Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict to keep Hezbollah busy. In this case, Israel could hit the Shia villages, and the western community would applaud a partition of Lebanon under the excuse of protecting the Christian of Lebanon. The Christian area would be financed and supported by the west. If the borders between the two sides were to be broken and Hezbollah had the upper hand, the Christians would be rushed outside the country, an ideal situation for the west. It would force the migration of the Christians, and leave Lebanon to a sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims, as in Iraq and Syria in the last decade. In fact, in reality, this is what French President Nicholas Sarkozy proposed to the Christian Patriarch when asking for support for the community in Lebanon back in 2011.

Gebran Bassil rejected the US offer even though the Christians of Lebanon are by nature close to the west. Bassil wants a relationship with the US and Europe: he is not ready to exchange it for relations with Iran, Russia or China. The US requests from the Lebanese Christians include the naturalisation of the Palestinians and the Syrian refugees. That would create a vast demographic imbalance in Lebanon where the majority would then be Sunni, followed by the Shia in the second place. In consequence, it would no longer be feasible or justified to give the reduced minority Christians half of the total share in all institutional positions of the state, Parliament, cabinet and security forces as stipulated by the Taef agreement.

One of the most significant differences between Hezbollah and Gebran Bassil is not only ideological but concerns the Speaker Nabih Berri, accused of corruption along with Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the Druse Leader Walid Jumblat, the governor of the Central Bank Riyad Salame and others. Gebran accuses Hezbollah of protecting his closest Shia ally Berri who, along with Hariri, protects Riyad Salame. The Central Bank governor is accused of facilitating the transfer of dozens of billions of dollars to Lebanese officials, accumulated from corruption and abuse of power over decades. Hezbollah understands Bassil’s accusation and finds itself powerless due to the limited choices available. Berri is the Leader of Amal who may not hesitate to confront Hezbollah if left alone or even go as far as an inter-Shia conflict. The price would be very high, mainly when the US and Israel are waiting for every opportunity to weaken Hezbollah from within, or through its allies.

Bassil also spoke about a plan thwarted by the local security services – who arrested several militants – to revive the terror group “Islamic State” (ISIS) in the north of Lebanon where a group of 40 militants linked to Idlib (Syria where the base of al-Qaeda is established) were uncovered. The Christians understand that their separation from Hezbollah would render them without protection, particularly when the ISIS card is still on the table and can manifest whenever the opportunity presents itself. This is why Bassil can’t break with Hezbollah: it is its guarantee and protection from radical Islamists who amply demonstrated how brutal they could be against all religions and sects in Syria and Iraq. In reality, the only political friend Bassil has in Lebanon today is Hezbollah, since all the other groups – including Maronite Christians, Sunni and Druse –have demonised him and are trying to isolate the FPM and its Leader.

In fact, being a Christian in Lebanon is not the privileged position it would be in the West. The only advantage it confers is facilitating a visa to change residence. Moreover, the US clearly doesn’t interact with Lebanese politicians on a humanitarian or « favour for favour » basis, but on the grounds of interests (theirs). Indeed, despite facilitating the departure of Amer Fakhoury to the West, Bassil didn’t win popularity with the US. On the contrary, events confirm that when the US administration considers the time has come to sacrifice Lebanon’s Christians as wood for a civil war fire, it will not hesitate. For the US, the interests of Israel come first. This is unfortunately unlikely to change with the new administration.

The US and Israel tried to confront Hezbollah face-to-face but failed to defeat or weaken the group. They tried to divide Iraq and Syria to cut the supply road to Hezbollah, but to no avail. Their last attempt was to impose “maximum pressure” on Iran. The result was that Tehran did not submit and Hezbollah continued to pay wages to tens of thousands of militants in US currency even when this is largely missing in Lebanon. No other choices remain for the US /Israeli side but the possibility of a civil war in Lebanon, and to dispose of the Christians in order to relieve Israel from the pressure applied by Hezbollah, with its growing strength and effectiveness.

Hezbollah is not expected to fall into this trap despite their Christian ally having significant differences in ideology and objectives. Differences can be managed when it is in the mutual interest of both sides to stick together. On the contrary, far from weakening him, the US sanctions on Bassil have boosted his position and freed the young Christian Leader to claim his right representation in the new government he was previously denied. But that puts the elected Prime Minister Saad Hariri – who holds the minority in Parliament – into a weaker position: he was counting on French President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative to overlook the Parliamentary results and form his government without Bassil. The US sanctions, predictably, produced a counter effect, giving wings to Gebran Bassil and making him stronger than ever.

Note:

A. King Abdullah’s initiative: the Arab states were to call upon Israel to affirm a full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the lines of June 4, 1967, as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territory in the south of Lebanon. It includes a just solution to the Palestinian refugee question on the basis of UNSC Resolution 194. There is also a request for the acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent state on the Palestinian territories occupied since 4 June 1967, in the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Consequently, the Arab states will do the following: One, consider the Arab-Israeli conflict to be completely over; two, establish normal relations with Israel in the context of comprehensive peace. It also called upon the government of Israel and the Israelis to accept this initiative in order to safeguard the prospect for peace and stop further shedding of blood in the region. These are the key issues. They have been described as peace for withdrawal, as a normalisation for a normalisation: the Arab states are asking Israel to be a normal state. In return, they would normalize their relationship with Israel – economic, cultural and otherwise.

B. During the 1982 Israeli occupation of Lebanon, Amer al-Fakhoury was a commander at the Israeli-established Kiyam detention camp and was responsible for the killing and torture of many members of the resistance. Lebanese authorities exerted pressure on the head of the military court to release Israeli collaborator Amer al-Fakhoury as requested by President Donald Trump.  Al-Fahkoury was then delivered to the US embassy and smuggled out of the country. The release order was carried out following pressure from the Chief of Staff and the President Michel Aoun, Gebran Bassil’s father-in-law.

C. Amal Shia Leader and Speaker Nabih Berri said in a statement.: “UNIFIL welcomes today’s announcement on the framework agreement to launch negotiations between the two states of Lebanon and Israel on demarcating the maritime borders between the two countries.”

Ron Arad is Dead, Israel Spent Millions of US Dollars to Confirm a Hezb Allah Statement

November 3, 2020 Arabi Souri

Israel IDF Pilot Ron Arad - South Lebanon

Ron Arad is Dead; after decades of fruitless efforts and spending millions of US dollars, if not tens of millions and if not more, the Israeli ‘intelligence’ confirmed what Hezb Allah already informed them through the UN.

Ron Arad was an Israeli IDF pilot terrorist, his US-supplied fighter jet was shot down while he was bombing southern Lebanon on 16 October 1986, he was captured alive by the AMAL movement, and then no more information about him.

In 2007, post the Israeli ruthless aggression on Lebanon and its defeat in that war it started in 2006, Hezb Allah, the Lebanese resistance movement, informed a German negotiator that the Israeli IDF terrorist is not alive. Hezb Allah was negotiating the exchange of Lebanese and Palestinians kidnapped by the Israelis with remains of Israeli terrorists killed in Lebanon.

Yet, the Israeli super corrupt officials launched a lengthy ‘high risky’ and very costly covert operations that reached ‘into several continents’ to try to prove their terrorist Ron Arad was moved from Lebanon to Iran, despite the confirmation of Hezb Allah, AMAL movement, and Iranian officials through the United Nations and direct German negotiators.

The Israelis do not care about the human cost in such operations knowing very well their ‘agents’ will not be treated badly if they are caught in other countries like how they treat those they kidnap, and knowing that many western countries that provide their passports to Israeli operatives abroad will interfere at all costs to release them, and at the end, the Israelis can kidnap hundreds of civilians and politicians and ask for an exchange with their operatives.

More importantly, the Israelis also do not bother about the monies wasted in their endeavors, they don’t pay for it, the US taxpayers do, mainly, and other wilful western citizens.

So the operation to find the non-existing continued for a decade before the Israeli ‘intelligence’ informed their regime officials on 11 October 2016 that their IDF terrorist Ron Arad is dead since 1988!

In January 2006, Hezb Allah chief said that Ron Arad is dead and his body is missing.

In 2006, the Lebanese resistance AMAL movement confirmed that Ron Arad is dead and his body is missing.

In 2008, the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said ‘in 2008 I had no doubt that Ron Arad is not alive’.

Israeli commandos raided a Lebanese village and interrogated a family who the Israeli terrorist Ron Arad was held in a basement in their house and they confirmed that Ron Arad escaped his prison and was dead on his way to the occupied Palestinian territories.

Israel stopped the operation in October 2016!

US taxpayers must feel the pride of the insistence of their Israeli dependencies, German, British, Aussies, French, and other western nationals who Israeli operatives use their passports for cover, must also feel proud of the cover they provide for such terrorist operations to the extent they risk their own lives while traveling abroad as they become suspects of being also Israeli operatives, the precedent is set.

And once again, the constant fact is established: Hezb Allah is credible and consistent; on the other hand, all the information coming from Israeli officials are not.

There will be a report today, Tuesday, on one of the Israeli TV channels of the ‘wide military operation by the Israeli Mossad (overseas hitmen), and Shabak (internal spy agency), and the IDF terrorists since the beginning of 2007 in an attempt to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Ron Arad’, Lebanese Al Mayadeen news agency reported.

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Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on September 29, 2020

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on September 29, 2020
VIDEO HERE

Translated by Staff

Speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, tackling the latest developments – Tuesday 9/29/2020

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you all.

I haven’t addressed you for a month, since the tenth of Muharram. Important developments and events have taken place during the past few days and weeks, putting me at your service, God willing, to tackle these developments and topics.

The first point:

Let me start with the first point and perform a moral duty towards Kuwait and the people of Kuwait. I start with the first point, which is to offer condolences over the departure of His Highness the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to Kuwait, its people, the crown prince, the Emir’s family, the government, the National Assembly, and the people of Kuwait on this occasion.

Of course, we in Lebanon remember the late Emir’s personal and great role in ending the Lebanese civil war in the late 1980s. Likewise, the Lebanese people, us included, will never forget the distinguished position of the Emir, the government, the people, and the National Assembly of Kuwait during the July war and in the face of the “Israeli” aggression on Lebanon. The political position was clear and decisive. We will never forget their generous contribution to the reconstruction of what the Zionist aggression on Lebanon destroyed in 2006.

From our position as nationalists and a resistance movement in the face of the “Israeli” aggression and the Zionist project, we commend Kuwait’s coherent position, under the leadership of its late Emir, in the face of all the pressures imposed on Arab countries, especially the Gulf ones, to join the convoy of normalization.

Kuwait still maintains this honorable and coherent position that is consistent with its national, Arab, and Islamic commitments towards al-Quds and Palestine.

On this occasion, I ask Allah Almighty to grant the late Emir His mercy and forgiveness. I ask God Almighty to preserve Kuwait and its people and enable it to calmly transition to the new stage.

The second point:

We start with the local developments. This is also related to security. The second point concerns the events in the north. It begins with the security side. I call on the Lebanese to take note of what happened during the past few weeks in the town of Kaftoun where three of its youths and men were martyred. This in addition to the confrontations that took place between the Lebanese army and armed groups in the north, resulting in the martyrdom of Lebanese army officers and soldiers, as well as the great confrontation that took place in the Wadi Khaled area, fought by the Internal Security Forces, especially the Information Branch, with the support of the Lebanese army, achieving great accomplishments.

At this point, we, as Lebanese, must appreciate these efforts and these sacrifices, and we must also extend our condolences to the Lebanese Army leadership and the families of the martyrs of the Lebanese Army for the loss of their loved ones.

We must also commend these families for their patience, steadfastness, and enormous sacrifices in defending Lebanon, its safety and security. We must also praise the position of the people and their rallying around the army and security forces in the north, in the northern villages and towns where these confrontations took place.

By exposing these diverse groups, it has been revealed so far – from those killed, arrested, and identified – that there are groups made up of Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians who are armed with various weapons. According to the available information, quantities of explosive materials, weapons, and explosive belts were found with these groups. But the most dangerous were the mortar rounds and LAW missiles. This means that these groups were not only preparing for suicide attacks or small and limited operations here and there. But they were preparing themselves for a major military action.

In the coming days and weeks, investigations conducted by the security services might reveal to the Lebanese people the magnitude of the great achievement of the army, the internal security forces, and the Information Branch in the recent confrontations, as well as any calamity that was thwarted by the grace of God Almighty and the efforts of all these people in the north. In any case, we have to wait.

Regarding this point, if you remember correctly, I issued a warning a month ago and called on you to pay attention. I said that there was a revival of Daesh in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Unfortunately, some people responded with sometimes sharp, negative, and violent comments. In any case, hatred, blindness, and ignorance sometimes prevent some people from seeing the facts. This is primarily because they are unable to read what is happening in the region.

In our region, specifically after the “assassination of the era” by the United States of America that saw the targeting of martyr Commander Hajj Qassem Soleimani and martyr Commander Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, the Iraqi people’s demand for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, and the decision of the Iraqi parliament in this regard, the US started reviving Daesh. If you notice since that time, Daesh has returned to Iraq, launching operations and taking control of some territories, mountains, and valleys, storming and setting up ambushes.

They are in Syria as well, in Syria’s Jazira region. Daesh was resurrected in many areas and started its operations. It is natural that it starts preparations in Lebanon to justify the continuing presence of US forces in the region under the rubric of the international coalition to confront ISIS. It is also that the battle is not between one country against another. Here lies the problem of reading the situation in Lebanon. Some people in Lebanon always view Lebanon as an island isolated from everything that is happening in the region.

Lebanon is part of the region – in terms of events and its fate, its past, present, and future as well. Therefore, when Daesh is revived, it is revived in the entire region, and this is what is happening. These large groups have been raided and arrested. They are still searching for other groups, while others have not emerged yet. All these belong to Daesh. The investigations proved that these groups pledged allegiance to Daesh and follow it. They received instructions to recruit, organize, start formations, and prepare, awaiting zero hour. We do not even know what exactly what was being prepared for our country.

In this context, I once again call for caution and to be aware of what is being prepared for the region. When the Americans reach a dead end while confronting the people of the region and when they sense failure, they resort to these methods that we are all familiar with. This matter needs attention, caution, and awareness. It also requires everyone to stand behind the military and security institutions to confront this imminent and approaching danger.

The third point:

The third point tonight concerns the southern border. Along the border with occupied Palestine, the enemy’s army is still in the highest state of alert, hiding, exercising extreme caution, and attention. This is a good thing. Perhaps this is the longest period of time that the enemy’s army experienced such suffering on our southern borders with occupied Palestine since the establishment of the “Israeli” entity that usurped Palestine in 1948. Its soldiers do not dare to move. Sometimes at night, we might notice a tank moving here or there. It is not clear whether there are soldiers in the tank because they use automatic vehicles and tanks. In any case, we are following up. Our decision is still standing. We are following up, watching, and waiting patiently because as I said on the tenth of Muharram the important thing is to achieve the goal. We will see what will come in the coming days and weeks.

The fourth point:

Another point related to the “Israeli” issue. A little while ago, the prime minister of the enemy’s government was speaking at a live broadcast before the United Nations. Before I entered this place to talk to you, the brothers told me what he said. Some of what he said was to incite the Lebanese people against Hezbollah. As usual, he took out his maps, locations, etc. He talked about a location here between Beirut and the southern suburbs of Beirut. He claimed that this place is where Hezbollah stores rockets and that it was near a gas station. He then warned the Lebanese that if an explosion happens, it will be similar to the port blast.

Because there is no time now, I will rely on the brothers to call. Hezbollah’s media relations department are supposed to start making calls. I am talking to you now, and they may have started or they will start contacting the various media outlets to meet at a close point at 10 p.m. Since I am still giving my speech and I do not want to disrupt it… In any case, anyone who would like to go to that area from now, there is no problem. We will allow the media to enter this facility and see what’s in it. Let the whole world discover Netanyahu’s lie live on air. Of course, he finished his speech a little while ago. If there are missiles there, and now I am talking to you, and its 8:43 p.m. according to my time.

I think that if Hezbollah has placed dozens of missiles or even one missile there, it will not be able to transfer it within half an hour from my announcement. Of course, this will not be a permanent policy; this does not bind us, Hezbollah and the resistance, to the principle that whenever Netanyahu talks about a place, we call the media to check it out. This means that Netanyahu will have something for you to do every day.

However, we accepted to resort to this method because we understand the sensitivities surrounding the explosion that took place at the port on August 4 and the lies, deception, and injustice that befell us after the explosion. Any local and foreign media outlet that wants to go can coordinate with the media relations department from now. And at 10 p.m., the media relations department in coordination with the brothers will determine the rendezvous point and head to the facility from there.

And whoever wants to go now to make sure that we are not removing the rockets, that is not a problem. In any case, he specified the exact location. This is only for the Lebanese to be aware in the battle of awareness and incitement – we do not produce rockets neither in the Beirut port nor near a gas station. We know exactly where to store our missiles.

I move to the political aspect. In the internal political aspect, we have the issue of the government – meaning the formation of the new government – the French initiative, and the recent conference by the French President Mr. Macron. I would like to talk about this topic.

First:

Let me explain to the Lebanese public what is happening. There are some details that I will, of course, not delve into.  There are also some facts that I will postpone talking about it to keep the doors open. But I would like to paint a clear picture – I think it will be sufficient – of what is happening. I will also talk about our remarks on the French President’s conference and where we are heading.

Regarding the government, after the port explosion, August 4, the resignation of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government, the visit of the French President to Lebanon, and the launch of the French initiative. Two meetings took place in the Pine Residence with the presence of the French President and eight parties, forces, bodies, or parliamentary blocs. In the second meeting, there were nine parties. An initiative was proposed. The text [of the initiative] is distributed and published in the media and on social media. People can read it, and there is nothing hidden regarding this topic. We all said we support and back the French initiative.

The first step is to form a new government. I will delve into the details shortly. The first step in the first stage is to designate a prime minister to form a government. I will say things as they are and mention names because the Lebanese people have the right to have clarity. Everything is clear because there are no secrets in Lebanon, nor am I revealing any. I am stating facts. Who are we going to designate?

We agreed. There is no problem with parliamentary blocs consulting each other. If Prime Minister Saad Hariri wants to be prime minister, it’s welcomed. We did not have a problem. If he liked to name someone, we see who he will name, and we discuss it among each other. We either accept it or not. This was the beginning of the discussions. Of course, during that period a club was formed. We call it the Prime Ministers Club.

رؤساء الحكومات السابقين يجتمعون الإثنين للبَت بموضوع تلبية دعوة لقاء بعبدا  (الجمهورية) - Lebanon News

We will talk about the club of the four former prime ministers more than once. Prime Minister [Salim] Al-Hoss (may God prolong his life) is still alive, and he is one of the former heads of government. Hence, this club is made up of the prime ministers of the previous four governments. Prime Minister Hassan Diab also became a former prime minister. So, they are two. However, this club started meeting.

They said that they met and sat with each other. We do not have a problem. On the contrary, we are calling for the broadest possible understanding between the political forces, parties, and blocs in Lebanon. They have representative blocs and they represent political forces, so they presented three names with the preference of Mr. Mustapha Adib, or that was our understanding. Of course, all indications suggested Mr. Mustapha Adib.

Of course, that night as people were all in a hurry and during the 15-day deadline, we asked about the man. The information we got was reasonable, good, and positives.

In order to facilitate matters, we did not set conditions or demanded to sit with him. We did not engage in a prior understanding. Now some people might say this was a mistake, while others might agree. This is another discussion. But we did so to make matters easy. We wanted to facilitate matters, and who is most important in the government? the prime minister. The most important thing in the government is the prime minister.

We relied on Allah Almighty and on the rule that – yes, we want a government to be formed with the widest representation and support so that it can do something at this difficult stage. We relied on God, and this step was accomplished. Excellent! Everyone was relaxed. The French President came on a second visit and met with some people after appointing Mr. Mustapha Adib. He said: “Please go ahead and begin. We want to complete this reform paper, etc.”

Lebanon faces hurdles to deliver cabinet on time | Arab News

Following the appointment of Mr. Mustapha Adib, protocol meetings with the parliamentary blocs took place, and the matter was concluded. The prime minister-designate was asked to do so. Of course, he is a respectable man with high morals, and I do not have any remarks on him.

He was told to wait for the parliamentary blocs to negotiate with since they are the one who will give their vote of confidence to the government. It is not enough just to give a name. there might be blocs that might not give a name, but they can give a vote of confidence.

However, they did not talk to anyone. According to my information, no discussions, meetings, or extrapolation of opinions took place. The President of the Republic later had to send for some heads of blocs or representatives of blocs to discuss them. It was considered that there was no reason – I will say why – to even consult with the President of the Republic, who is in fact here not a political force, but according to the constitution, a partner in forming the government.

This means that from the start the prime minister-designate should go to him and discuss with him, not bring him some files. He should discuss with him the distribution of portfolios, the names of the ministers, the nature of the government, the perception of the government. This never happened, not even once. It is as if the government should be formed and the President would be told that this is the government, these are the names, this is the distribution of the portfolios. Then, President Aoun would either sign on the government or not. There is no third option. If he signs, it means that this is a de facto government. Neither the distribution of portfolios nor the names were discussed with him. what does mean? What is the most important authority the president has following the Taif Agreement? It is taking part in the formation of the government. It means that it is over.

And here the French must pay attention to where they are making mistakes. This means that they are covering a political process that would have led to the elimination of the most important remaining powers of the President of the Republic in Lebanon.

And if President Aoun did not sign, there will be an upheaval in the country. The media and the opponents are ready, and there is French pressure. If President Aoun does not sign, he will be accused of disrupting [the formation] to support Gebran Basil. So, nothing happened. I don’t know if there were negotiations with the Progressive Socialist Party or the [Lebanese Forces]. But I know that there were negotiations with the blocs that are our friends and allies and are the parliamentary majority. There were negotiations with us – for this reason or that – because they cannot overpass this component and duo – Hezbollah and the Amal Movement.

We went to the discussions. Of course, the one who was negotiating with us was not the prime minister-designate. We had no problem negotiating with anyone that is acting on behalf of the prime minister-designate or the four former prime ministers. But former Prime Minister Saad Hariri was negotiating with us. Of course, the discussion was calm, objective, scientific, and careful. We understood several points related to the government since the beginning of the discussions. There were some differences in opinion. The first point is that the government will be composed of 14 ministers.

The second point is rotating the portfolios. So basically, it means give us the Finance Ministry. The third point is that the prime minister-designate, i.e. us, that is the club of the four former prime ministers will be the one naming the ministers of all the sects – not just Sunni or Shiite ministers. No, Sunni, Shiite, Druze, and Christian ministers. The club will name them all. The fourth point is that they will specify how the portfolios will be distributed. Brothers, how are you going to distribute the portfolios? What will the Muslims take? What will the Christians take? The Shiites, the Sunnis, the Druze, the Maronites, the Catholics, the Armenians? There is no answer. This is up to them. This means that us and the rest of the people in the country just take not that the government will be made of 14 ministers.

This was the result. The discussion unfolded in a respectful manner, but the result was that we take note that there will be 14 ministers, of the rotation, of the distribution of portfolios, and of the names of the ministers that will be representing the sects.

We engaged in the discussions, and we agreed on the number of the ministers. It was concluded that a government made up of 30 ministers is tiring, even 24 ministers is too much. But 14, this means you are handing one person two ministries, at a time when a minister is given one ministry and is barely succeeding in running it.

This is one of the problems in the country. The competent ministers who are able to run their ministries, why do you want to give a minister two ministries. Let there be 18 or 20 ministers. The discussions regarding the number remained open, but the other party insisted on 14 ministers, knowing that most of the parliamentary blocs who were later consulted by the President, were against having 14 ministers and wanted the broadest possible representation. 

We come to the second point: the rotation. We also disagreed on it. The discussion over the Finance Ministry has become known in the country. The third point, naming the ministers. Here, it is not intended only as naming the finance minister. Let us assume that certain portfolios are the responsibility of Christians, Sunnis, Shiites, or Druze ministers. They want to name those ministers, not the parliamentary blocs that represent these ministers’ sects or the parties that represent their sects. These ministers were elected by the Lebanese people and the people from their sects as well. But neither the sect nor the parties will name their ministers, they just have to take note.

Of course, we rejected this issue and was out of the question. It was not only the Shiite ministers. We consider this manner when someone wants to name all the ministers for all the sects in Lebanon a threat to the country.

Let’s go back a little bit. Let us talk about what the Taif Agreement, the constitutional powers, and customs tell you regarding the formation of the government. Talking about the formation of the government before the Taif Agreement is useless because we already have the Taif Agreement. Also talking about the formation of the government since the Taif Agreement until 2005 is useless; even though they might tell us that this is how it used to be during the Syrian tutelage or the Syrian administration.

From 2005 until today, most of the time you were a parliamentary majority and the main political forces in the country applying the Taif Agreement. The first government that was formed after the withdrawal of the Syrian forces from Lebanon was the government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati. So far, people would agree on a prime minister. The prime minister then negotiates with the people. He negotiates with them, and no one negotiates on their behalf. They agree on the number, the distribution of the portfolios. The parliamentary blocs or the parties taking part name then ministers. The prime minister never discussed the names.

There was an amendment to this behavior or this custom that took place in 2005 with the government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab. We accepted it when discussions began that Mr. Muhammad Safadi or other figures might be nominated. We accepted this. There is no problem when the blocs or parties name someone to be head a certain ministry, for example.

The prime minister-designate can say that this person is not suitable for this position and can ask for another name. We were open to this process before the government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab. We applied this with the government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab. And we are ready to apply it again.

This is a positive progress, and this strengthens the powers of the prime minister. This does not weaken the prime minister. This was the prevailing custom regarding the prime minister from 2005 until today. He would agree with the parliamentary blocs and the main political forces that want to take part in the government. they would agree on the portfolios and the distribution. They name their ministers, and he did not discuss the names.

Of course, this is good. Now, we can argue with the names and refuse some, and whoever you refuse we put aside and suggest other names. In fact, this is a strengthening of the premiership position, unlike any stage from the beginning of the Taif Agreement until today.

Whoever wants to use sectarian language and say this is weakening the premiership position, not at all. This happened for the first or the second time. We accept it and consider it logical and natural, and there is no problem.

This remained a point of contention – the issue of distributing the portfolios. It was the same thing. Even with regard to the names, a couple were proposed that we had no problem with. We also told them. We told them in the end, this is subject to discussion. We can solve it together.

For example, some wanted non-partisans. There is no problem. This can be discussed. They said we want people who have not taken part on previous governments, new people. There is no problem. By God, if the prime minister-designate does not agree with the names, we told them there is no problem. All this is to simplify and not complicate the matter.

In any case, the answer came after all the discussions and on the last day of the 15-day deadline, the government will contain 14 ministers, knowing that all this did were not discussed with His Excellency the President as far as I know. They did not agree with him on whether there would be 14 or 20 ministers or how the portfolios would be distributed. Nothing of this sort.

We were back to the beginning again – a government made up of 14 ministers, rotation, they name the ministers, and distribute portfolios.

For us, this was not acceptable at all. And this is where things got stuck. Of course, you can discuss this method with relation to the customs from 2005 until today. To those who are talking about customs, these were never the customs in forming a government. you can even discuss this in relation to the constitution which includes an article that the government should include representatives of all the sects. This method is not in the Taif Agreement. The government, thus, became the authority and the decision maker. They said all the sects are represented in the government through representatives representing these sects.

I do not wish to infer from this text contained perhaps in Article 95, but rather I would like to say that at least debate this constitutionally. In any case, I do not want to delve into a constitutional debate, but these were not the norms that prevailed from 2005 until now.

Why do you now want to establish new norms that exclude parliamentary blocs, the parliamentary majority, the Lebanese president, and the political forces and confiscate the formation of the government in the interest of one group that represents part of the current parliamentary minority, even if we respect it and respect its representation and position? These are, however, new norms that go the constitution and democracy that Mr. Macron is demanding of us.

During the last few days of the 15-day deadline, the French intervened, calling everyone and pressuring them. They spoke to leaders and heads of political parties. Of course, the channel of communication with us was different. President Macron made good effort. But in which direction is that effort heading toward?

Regardless of the discussion that took place with others, I am talking about the discussion that took place with us. ‘Why are you obstructing? We want you to help and facilitate – of course, all this in a language of diplomacy that included pressure – otherwise, the consequences will be dire.’ This sort of talk.

We asked them: Our dear ones, our friends, does the French initiative say that the government has to have 14 ministers? They said: No. Does the French initiative say that the club of the four former prime ministers should name the ministers of all the sects in the government? They said: No. Does the French initiative say anything about this club distributing the portfolios among the sects? They said: No. Does the French initiative say anything about rotating the portfolios and take the Finance Ministry from this sect and give it to that sect? They said: No.

We have wished for a narrow government. 14, 12, 10, 18. The numbers are with you and how you call this matter is up to you.

So how are we blocking the French initiative? This is the discussion that took place between us. Since they spoke about this in the media, I am speaking about this on the media. They said, it is true. This, however, was never mentioned, and the text is there to prove it.

O Lebanese people, the text is on social networking sites. The French reform paper, which is the main article of the French initiative, does not include a government of 14 ministers, does not include rotation, does not indicate who appoints ministers, and it does not include who distributes the portfolios. These do not exist.

Allow me to continue laying down the details, and then I will mention our remarks. We reached a point where the French said: ‘We understand what you are saying. It is logical that the finance minister is a Shiite. There is no problem.’

I will not delve into discussion of why Amal and Hezbollah insist on this point. This point alone needs an explanation. But it will become clearer in my future addresses.

But allow the prime minister-designate to be the one to name. This means the club of the four former prime ministers. We told them that we are looking for a Shiite minister born of Shiite parents. We are insisting on a Shiite minister because it is a matter related to the decision-making process. Who does this minister follow when it comes to making decisions?

The club of the former heads of government can bring any Shiite employee who is 100% affiliated and loyal to them. But this is not what we are looking for. We are suggesting that the sect itself will name the minister responsible for a certain portfolio. For example, if a certain portfolio belongs to the Shiites, then the duo will be the one naming their minister. The prime minister-designate can reject this minister for as much as he wants until we agree on a suitable minister for this responsibility.

Of course, the idea was totally rejected by the club of the former prime ministers.

Later, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri came out and said that he accepts for one time that the finance minister be a Shiite, but the prime minister-designate will be the one to name him. We were already over this five days ago and that he drank the poison. There is no need for you, former prime minister, to drink the poison. God bless your heart, and may He keep you healthy. We can always go back and reach an understanding. There is no problem. But this is not the solution. 

Then, the three former prime ministers say that they do not agree with what former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said. The whole matter is incomprehensible, “What do we want with it”.

We reached a point where there is a problem; we do not agree on the form of the government. We do not agree on the names of the ministers, on the rotation, or the distribution of the portfolios. The prime minister-designate, of course, apologized. I would like to point out that there was an idea of a fait accompli. I’m saying this so that I don’t accuses someone in precise. Let us form the government and ignore the rest. Let us name the ministers and then head to the President to sign. If he does not sign, he will face an upheaval. He will sign, though, because the Christians are in a difficult situation. The Free Patriotic movement is in a difficult situation, and the President wants his term to succeed. There are French pressure for the President to sign.

In any case, during the discussions between us and the side of the prime minister-designate, the man was clear. He said, ‘I came to be supported and positive and my government be supported by a large coalition so that I can help. I do not want to confront anyone, and if there is no agreement regarding the government, I will not form a confrontational government. The man was honest in his position and commitment, and he apologized.

Of course, we hoped that he would give more opportunities. Whether he could not handle it anymore or was asked to do so are details that I have no knowledge about.

I am still stating the facts and I will soon make our remarks.

Of course, the wave is already known since before the apology. The mass media machines and the writers, those groups that the American spoke about, had already begun to hold people responsible.

Whoever has a problem with the duo, Amal and Hezbollah, blamed the Shiite duo. There were those that focused on Hezbollah and those who attack President Aoun. The attack here focused on President Aoun and the duo, Amal and Hezbollah, because there were political orders issued.

The French were upset and announced that President Macron would like to hold a press conference. The Lebanese waited to see who the French would hold responsible. We all heard, we all heard President Macron’s press conference and the questions the Lebanese journalists bombarded him with.

I am done with listing the facts, and I would like to comment. In this context, the following points should be made clear to all:

First: The offer during last month, because the 15-day deadline has expired and another 15 days were added to it, so this makes a month. What was on the table? The formation of a salvation government and not to form a club of former prime ministers whereby all parliamentary blocs and parties in the country as well as the Parliament Speaker and the President hand over the country to this club unconditionally, without any discussions and questions. 

What kind of government? what kind of distribution? What is its policy? There is no discussion. Just go and accept the government that they will form; otherwise, sanctions and French pressure will follow. You will be held responsible before the Lebanese people and before the international community, and you will appear as the ones obstructing. This is what was on offer last month, and of course it was based on a wrong reading.

The most important thing about this offer was whether the Amal-Hezbollah duo would accept or not. I will talk about things frankly. Basically, they did not speak with any other party. They did not discuss or negotiate, and they considered that if the Amal-Hezbollah duo agreed, no one will be able to stand in the way of this project. In the end, if President Aoun wants to talk about constitutional powers, he will be left alone, confronted and pressured. I am stating this just for you to know what position we were in.

So, the offer on the table during the past month was not a salvation government, but rather a government named by the club of former prime ministers, with 14 ministers and a board of directors of specialists and employees whose political decision absolutely stems from one party that is part of the parliamentary minority in Lebanon and represents one political team that is considered the largest group of Lebanon’s Sunni community. However, it is not correct to say that it represents the whole Sunni sect. There are many Sunni representatives who were elected by Sunni votes and have representation in the Sunni community.

This was what was on offer, and everyone was required to accept it. Of course, there was a misreading here – the people get scared, the country was in a difficult situation, people are on the streets, and pressure and sanctions were coming. The two ministers, Ali Khalil and Youssef Fenianos, were slapped with sanctions. There were also threats to sanction 94 people, the French pressure, etc.

Thus, we are a party that they take into account. So, they are telling you that if you obstruct, there will be grave consequences regarding this matter. This is how the discussions with us went. We don’t know how it went with the rest – what they threatened or pressured them with. This is first.

A. Regarding this point, I would like to say this method will not succeed in Lebanon, whoever its supporters and sponsors are, be it America, France, Europe, the international community, the Arab League, the whole world, the universe. This method does not work in Lebanon. You are wasting time.

B. President Macron accused us of intimidating the people. Those who are accusing us of intimidation are the ones who, during the past month, have practiced a policy of intimidation against the leaders, the blocs, the political parties and forces, in order to force a government of this kind. They resorted to threats, punishments, and heading towards the worse. You saw the language they used, and this was shown in the media. This does not work.

Second: We rejected this formula not because we want to be in the government or not. The main question that was before us was, is it in the interest of Lebanon and its people and saving Lebanon? Now we have two stages. One stage moves from bad to good and one from bad to worse. Where are we heading towards? Who are we handing the rescue ship over to? Who is the captain? The four prime ministers were prime ministers since 2005 up until a few months ago. Is this wrong or right? They have been prime ministers for 15 years. They are not the only ones to bear the responsibility. We all bear the responsibility. But they bear the bulk of the responsibility because they were heads of government and had ministers to represent them in the government.

On the contrary, I hold them responsible and also ask them to take responsibility, not to run away from bearing the responsibility, to cooperate, to understand, and join hands with us. Can saving the country be achieved with you handing over the country to the party that bears the bulk of the responsibility for the reason we are here now and for the situation over the past 15 years? What logic is this? Whose logic is this?

Third: To us, here I will talk about Hezbollah specifically. Regarding our brothers in the Amal movement, they have always taken part in governments even before we participated. In 2005, you know that we were not in an atmosphere to take part in governments. After 2005, why?

During the 2018 electoral campaign, I spoke a lot about this issue, and I said that we should take part in the governments, not greed for a position, a ministry, salary, or money. Thank God, Allah has given us from his grace. We do not need salaries from the state, budgets, or this state’s money. However, I spoke the reason clearly. Now, I will add a second reason.

The reason we were talking about is to protect the resistance. We have explained this, and there is no need to repeat it. Now, some of our loving friends might say that Hezbollah does not need to take part in the government to protect the resistance. This is a respectable point of view, but we disagree with this opinion. More than one friend has said this. But we disagree with them. Why?

We have to take part in the government to protect the resistance and prevent another May 5, 2008 government from emerging. Who were in the May 5, 2008 government? The people who want to form the new government, a government similar to the May 5, 2008 government.

A dangerous decision was taken by the May 5, 2008 government that would have led to a confrontation between the Lebanese Army and the resistance. It was an American-“Israeli”-Saudi project. This matter was overcome. Frankly, we are not afraid the leadership of the army, the army establishment, its officers, or its soldiers. This is a national institution. Yes, we have the right to be cautious of the political authority and the political decision, and we decided to take part in the government to protect the resistance. This is first.

The second reason that I will add now is, during all the previous discussions, Hezbollah was admonished for choosing to resist and fight in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, etc. We were admonished for neglecting the economic situation, the financial situation, and the living situation. Accusations and equations were formulated – the arms in exchange for corruption, and the economy in exchange for the resistance. this sort of talk.

I do not want to discuss this remark, but I want to use it to say that we cannot be absent from this government today, frankly, out of fear for what is left of Lebanon, economically, financially and on every level. We fear for Lebanon and the Lebanese people. I mentioned that I do not fear for Hezbollah. We are afraid for the country, for the people, and the future of this country. How?

What if a government we are not sure whether it believes in blankly signing on the terms of the International Monetary Fund was formed? I am not accusing anyone, but this is a possibility. I know people’s convictions. Should this be allowed? Should we as a parliamentary bloc in the country give our vote of confidence to a government I already know would blankly sign with the IMF without any negotiations and the people should agree and sign? Do we not have the right to be afraid of a government that, under the pretext of the financial situation, could sell state property?

This is suggested in some plans – selling state property and privatization under the pretext that we want to bring money to pay off the debt and the deficit, etc. Don’t we have the right to be afraid of such a government? I tell you, in the previous governments where we were the half or the majority and not the third that disrupted, we used to always have disagreements. We are not alone on the issue of increasing the Value Added Tax.

If a government was formed in the way it was going to be formed a few days ago, the first decision would have been to increase VAT on everything. The tax policy would have been imposed on the people. And we promised the Lebanese people that we will not allow or accept it. Will the people be able to handle a new VAT?

A few cents were added to the WhatsApp application, and the people took to the streets on October 17th. Don’t we have the right to be afraid of a government when we do not know what will become of the depositors’ money?

No, my dears, we fear for our country, our people, state property, and the depositors’ money. We have concerns regarding the conditions of the IMF, and we are afraid of going from bad to worse. I am not claiming to have magical solutions. We have proposed alternatives related to oil derivatives from Iran, which will save the Lebanese treasury billions of dollars, and are related to going eastward without leaving the West – if possible, with Russia, china, Iraq, Iran, etc. They were concerned about these proposals, especially the Americans.  There are alternative propositions. But we are not saying that we are the alternative. We are calling on everyone to cooperate.

But, frankly, we can no longer, due to the resistance or anything else, turn our backs, close our eyes, and accept anyone to form a government and run the country and manage the financial and economic situations. This is no longer permissible at all. Therefore, to us, the issue is not a matter of power or being the authority. This is in the past, and these are also principles for what is to come, when we talk about any government that will be formed in the future.

Regarding President Macron’s conference, I will discuss the content and the form. I will quickly read them.

1- In terms of content, the French president held the Lebanese political forces responsible for disrupting the initiative. I repeat and ask him what we asked his delegates. Did the French initiative say that the four former heads of government alone should form the government and impose it on the political blocs and the Lebanese President, determine portfolios and distribute them, and name ministers from all the sects? Yes or no? The answer given to us was “no.” This was not in the French initiative. Then I look for the one responsible for causing the first stage to fail – those who benefited from the French initiative and pressure to impose such a government, to impose new customs, and to score political gains that they weren’t able to achieve in the past 15 years with your [French] cover and pressure.

If you knew and understood what was happening, then this is a catastrophe and no longer an initiative. There is a project for a group to take control of the whole country and eliminate all political forces. And if you were not aware of this, it is fine. Now you are aware, so deal with the issue in the second stage of the French initiative. Hence, there is no need to blame everyone for being responsible for the failure. You have to specify exactly who bears the responsibility!

2- When you blamed the failure on all the political forces, I do not want to defend Hezbollah, on the contrary, I wish that President Macron says that Hezbollah is the one that caused the failure and pardon the rest of the political forces. O brother, there are political forces in Lebanon that were not even consulted or negotiated with. They do not know what is happening. We, who were negotiating did not know the names and the portfolios, how will they know when they are clueless? How can they be held responsible? Later when it comes to the form, you’ll be accused. You accused all the heads of institutions. Fine, the Parliament Speaker is part of the duo. But where did the President make a mistake? Where did he fall short for them to hold him accountable? He [Macron] held everyone responsible. He said heads of institutions and political forces. This includes the Lebanese President. Where did the man go wrong? What were his shortcomings to be held responsible? He was not even informed about the government, the distribution of the portfolios, and the names of the ministers!

3- We are being held responsible and taking the country to the worse situation. No, on the contrary. What we did was prevent the country from going from bad to worse. We are still in a bad situation, and we hope that the initiative rethinks its way of thinking and the Lebanese people cooperate with each other so that we can move from bad to good.

Al-Quds News Agency – News: Hezbollah to Macron: “Hold your limits!”

4- What are the promises that we made and did not fulfill? A paper was presented on the table. Our brother, Hajj Muhammad Raad, may God protect him, the head of the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc, and the rightly representative of Hezbollah, of course read them. Frankly, he said: We agree with 90% of what is in the paper. Macron asked him if he was sure that we agree on 90 %. He said, yes. Of course, they did not specify the 10% that we disapproved. But let us assume that we said we agree 100%, this paper does not include this means and the formation of the government. Then, Mr. Macron, what did we promise and commit to and not keep it for us to be not respectable people who do not respect their promises? This is the harshest thing to be said. At the beginning, you said a national unity government. Then, you back tracked. We understood that. Some said it was a mistake in translation. Others said it was American and Saudi pressure. Fine. The best thing you said is that it should be a government made up of independent people with important competencies. But who will name these independent individuals? The initiative did not mention who will name them. No one has agreed with anyone on the process of naming these ministers.

You do not want the parties to name them. But former Prime Minister Saad Hariri is head of a party, former Prime Minister Najib Mikati is the leader of a party, President Fouad Siniora is a member of a party. Why is one party allowed to name ministers while the rest are not allowed?

Your Excellency the President and all the Lebanese at the table, we have not committed ourselves to pursuing a government whatever it is. We have not committed ourselves to accepting to hand over the country to some government. No one agreed with anyone how the government will be formed and who will name ministers. This was not mentioned in the plan or in the initiative. This initiative was used to impose this thought on the political blocs and the Lebanese parties.

Our friends and foes, Your Excellency, the French President, know that we fulfill our promises, our commitments, and our credibility to both the enemy and the friend. The manner in which we conduct our dealings is known. When we promise, we are known to fulfill our promises and sacrifice in order to fulfill our promises. We might upset our friends and allies to fulfill our promises. I do not want to give examples, but this is a well-known topic.

One of the points that I want to comment on is that no one should use promises of financial aid to write off the main political forces in the country and sidestep the election results. President Macron says: The Amal Movement and Hezbollah, Hezbollah and Speaker Berri, the Shiites must choose Democracy or worst [situation].

We chose democracy. What you ask of us is inconsistent with democracy. If elections are not democracy, then what is democracy? Democracy in 2018 produced a parliamentary majority. You, Mr. President, are asking the parliamentary majority to bow and hand over the country to the minority, to a part of the parliamentary minority. We chose the parliamentary and municipal elections and chose the parliament. We chose partnership. We did not choose the worst or war. We did not attack anyone. The Zionists are the ones who launched a war on our country, occupied our land, and confiscated our goods, and they are the ones who are threatening our country.

We did not go to Syria to fight civilians. We went to Syria with the approval of the Syrian government to fight the groups that you say are terrorist and takfiri, and which France is part of the international coalition that is fighting them. You are in Syria illegally and without the approval of the Syrian government. We did not go to fight civilians in Syria. We are fighting there to defend our country, to defend Lebanon, Syria, and the region against the most dangerous project in the history of the region after the Zionist project, which is the project of takfirist terrorism. We are not part of the corrupt class. We did not take money from the state’s funds. The source of our money is known. It is no secret. We do not have funds, financial revenues, or partisan projects that we want to protect. Everyone else is free to say whatever they want about themselves.

But we do not accept anyone to speak with us in this language or thinking of us in this way. When we talk about obstruction and facilitation, we accepted the appointment of Mr. Mustapha Adib without prior understandings and conditions. We only built on goodwill. But this means that we are heading towards compromise and facilitations. As for surrender, it is a different story. Blindly handing over the country is another matter.

We are not terrorizing or intimidating anyone in Lebanon. Unfortunately, President Macron stated this, even if it came in the context of being skeptical about the election results. You can ask your embassy and your intelligence services in Lebanon. They will tell you how small Lebanon is and how many politicians, media outlets, social networking sites, and newspapers insult us and falsely accuse us day and night. They are living and are not afraid of anyone. If they were afraid, they would not dare open their mouths against Arab countries under your protection and are your friends and allies. No one dares write a tweet to express an opposing stance against normalization, or support, or criticize a government, king, or prince. No, we are not intimidating anyone. If anyone is afraid, it is their business. But we are not intimidating anyone. You can come see for yourself and ask the people in the country.

5- The last point in the matter. I hope that the French administration will not listen to some of the Lebanese, and if it has this point of view to deal with it. Not everything is – Iran asked to block the French initiative, Iran requested strictness in naming ministers, Iran asked the duo to insist on the Ministry of Finance. This is nonsense and baseless. Iran is not like this. Iran is not like you. Iran does not interfere in the Lebanese affairs. We are the decision-makers when it comes to Lebanese affairs. We decide what we want to do in regarding matters in Lebanon. We, in Hezbollah, and the duo, Hezbollah and Amal, and we with our allies decide.

Iran does not interfere or dictate. At the very least, in the past 20 years and more than 20 years. I am talking about a long time ago, ever since I took the post of secretary general because the direct contact is with me. From 1992, anyone who spoke to Iran, Iran told them to speak with the brothers in Lebanon – talk to them, discuss with them, the decision is theirs. Every once in a while, they point to an Iranian-American agreement. Hezbollah is disrupting and waiting [an Iranian-American agreement]. There is neither an American-Iranian agreement nor American-Iranian negotiations. At the very least, in the elections, this is settled. The Iranians announced this. Iran does not want to pressure France for a certain interest in the Security Council. What is this nonsense! If this ignorance will continue and this wrong way of thinking remains, this means we will never reach any results in Lebanon because wrong introductions will always lead to wrong results.

Mr. Macron, if you want to search outside Lebanon for the one who caused the failure of your initiative, then look for the Americans who imposed sanctions and are threatening to impose sanctions. Look for King Salman and his speech at the United Nations.

Regarding the form, on what basis did you say that all political forces, the heads of constitutional institutions committed treason and betrayal – regardless of the translation? How? Who said they committed treason?

1- First, we don’t allow anyone to accuse us and say that we committed treason. We categorically reject and condemn this condescending behavior against us and all the political forces in Lebanon. We do not accept neither this language nor this approach. We do not accept anyone doubting whether we are respectable people and a respectable party or whether we respect our promises and respect others. We do not accept anyone to accuse us of corruption. If the French friends have files on ministers from Hezbollah, deputies from Hezbollah, and officials from Hezbollah that we took money from the state, I accept, go ahead, and present them to the Lebanese judiciary. We will hand over anyone who has a corruption file of this sort. And this is a real challenge, and I have spoken about this a hundred times, and I will repeat and say it again.

But the rhetoric of the corrupt class, the corrupt political class, and the corrupt political forces is not acceptable. We welcomed President Macron when he visited Lebanon and welcomed the French initiative, but not for him to be a public prosecutor, an investigator, a judge, and a ruler of Lebanon. No, we welcomed President Macron and the French initiative as friends who love Lebanon, want to help it emerge from its crises, and want to bring different points of view closer. This means friendship, care, mediation, brotherhood, and love. But there is never a mandate for anyone, not for the French President or for anyone to be a guardian, a ruler, or a judge of Lebanon. It is not to my knowledge that the Lebanese have taken a decision of this kind. That is why we hope that this method, form, and content be reviewed.

In this part, I conclude and say that we welcomed the French initiative. And today, His Excellency the President extended. It is also welcomed. We still welcome the French initiative, and we are ready for dialogue, cooperation, openness, and to hold discussions with the French, with all the friends of Lebanon, and with all the political forces in Lebanon. But the bullying that was practiced during the past month, surpassed the facts that took place during the past month. This cannot continue; otherwise, we will not reach a conclusion. We are ready, and we hope for this initiative to be successful, and we support its continuation. We are betting on it as everyone else. But I call for the reconsideration of the method, the way of action, the understanding, the analysis, the conclusion, and even the management and the language of communication. The most important thing is respect and people’s dignities.

In the past two days, the national dignity was violated. There are people who are angry at parties and at a political class. They have the right to be angry, but there was something else. When anyone generalizes an idea to include everyone, institutions, parties and political forces, this in fact violates national dignity. This is unacceptable. We know that the French are moralists and diplomatic and speak in a beautiful language. Even if the content is a little harsh, yet they try to beautify it. I do not know what happened on Sunday night.

In any case, we are open to anything that benefits our country. Now in the new phase, it is natural after what happened that the parliamentary blocs will return and talk to each other, consult and communicate. The French say that they will continue with the initiative. That’s good. But what are the ideas? What are the new foundations? I will not present neither ideas nor solutions, nor will I set limits for us as Hezbollah because this issue needs to be discussed with our allies and our friends. But we must all not despair. We must work together and understand one another. We still insist on everyone’s cooperation and everyone’s understanding, as well as positivity among everyone so that we can cross over from a bad stage to a good one and not from bad to worse.

The fifth point:

I will say a few words in this last section. We must say something about this. In the past weeks, a new development took place in the region – the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Bahrain joined the caravan of normalization with the United Arab Emirates. We must praise the position of the people of Bahrain. The youth took to the streets despite the repression and dangers. The religious scholars in Bahrain openly published a list of their names and clearly and strongly condemned this normalization. We must speak highly of Bahraini religious scholars and leaders inside of Bahrain and abroad, headed by His Eminence Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim (may God protect him), the parties and forces, the political associations, various figures, and some representatives in the House of Representatives.

Of course, this is an honorable position. This is Bahrain, and these are the people of Bahrain. The government, the king, the administration, or the authority that took this decision, we all know that this authority does make its own decision in the first place. It is dealt with as one of the Saudi provinces. Our bet is on the Bahraini people and pave the way for our bet on others. Of course, salutations to the patient, courageous, dear, and loyal people of Bahrain.

Despite their wounds and the presence of large numbers of their youth, religious scholars, leaders, and symbols being in prisons, they did not remain silent. They were not afraid. They expressed their position courageously, braved the bullets, and were prepared to be arrested. They said the word of truth that resonated in a time of silence, betrayal, and submission. We repeat and say that our bet is on the people.

There are honorable positions being expressed in the Arab world: the official and popular Tunisian position, the official and popular Algerian position, and other positions in more than one country and place.

Of course, today we want to appeal to the Sudanese people, whose history we know, the history of their sacrifices, their jihad, their struggle against the colonialists, and their tragedies. Do not allow them to subjugate you in the name of the terror list or the economic situation. The people of Sudan, its parties, and the elites must issue a statement because it seems that the country most eligible now to be on the line [of normalization] is Sudan.

In any case, even if governments normalized, they see it as a great achievement. There is no doubt that this is a bad thing. But this is not the basis of the equation. Our bet lies on the people. This is the basis. Camp David is more than forty years old. But are the Egyptian people normalizing? What about the Jordanian people and normalization? There is no normalization. Neither the Egyptians nor the Jordanians normalized.

The ruler of the Emirates says, “We are tired of wars and sacrifices.”

O my dear, you neither fought nor made sacrifices. The Palestinians, the Egyptians, the Lebanese, and the Jordanians are the ones who made sacrifices. These are the people that made sacrifices and did not normalize.

And as long as this is the people’s choice and as long as the Palestinian people hold on to their rights, we are not concerned about everything that is happening in the region. Those who normalized and those who are now standing in line have decidedly lost their Akhira [afterlife]. Their worldly calculations will fail, and they will discover that even their worldly accounts are wrong. These accounts will not last.

There is no time left to explain this point. Until here is enough. However, this meaning will be confirmed in the near future.

May Allah grant you wellness. Peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

الحريري ينصّبُ نفسه زعيماً لمعارضة سوريّة وهميّة!

د. وفيق إبراهيم

السؤال هنا لا يقتصر فقط على الهجوم العنيف الذي أطلقه رئيس الحكومة السابق سعد الحريري نحو الدولة السورية.

ولا على إعلان تأييده للمعارضة السورية معلناً على رؤوس الأشهاد استعداده الدائم لإسنادها بكل ما تحتاجه لأن 85 في المئة من السنة السوريين مظلومون ومضطهدون ونازحون، كما زعم علناً على شاشة إحدى محطات التلفزة التابعة لحزب القوات اللبنانية.

لم يكتفِ السعد بهذا القدر من الشتائم، معتبراً ايضاً ان الرئيس بشار الأسد «قتل شعبه» على حد مزاعمه الكريهة.

هذا الى جانب مشين مما أدلى به وريث رفيق الحريري كما قدّم نفسه، «فأنا ابن رفيق الحريري اي المرشح الطبيعي الدائم لرئاسة الحكومة»، هي واحدة من جمل كثيرة بدا فيها سعد منتشياً متضخّماً ينتابه إحساس السيطرة على الساحة السنية والارتباطات الخارجية عند الأميركيين والفرنسيين وآل سعود.

هناك سؤالان ينبثقان بمفرديهما من الجانب السوري من مقابلته ويتعلق بمواقف حلفاء سورية في لبنان الذي انتقدوا إنما بملامسات خفيفة مقابلة الشيخ سعد في كامل جوانب ما تطرّقت إليه، من دون أي اقتراب من موقفه المخجل من سورية.

والحلفاء المقصودون هنا هم حركة أمل وحزب الله والمردة والقوى الوطنية وطلال أرسلان ووئام وهاب ونفر كبير من القوى والأحزاب.

لجهة السؤال الثاني فيذهب الى الدولة اللبنانية او ما تبقى منها، في محاولة لحضّها على رفض الدعم الذي أعلن «السعد» عن استعداده لتقديمه للمعارضة السورية. وهذا يشابه مع ما سبق وفعله في الهجوم الإرهابي على الدولة السورية في 2014، عندما أرسل سعد الحريري رجله النائب السابق عقاب صقر ليفتح مكتباً في تركيا بوظيفة تمويل المعارضات السورية التي كانت تنطلق الى سورية عبر حدود تركيا.

إخبار ضدّ عقاب صقر "لانتسابه" إلى تنظيم "القاعدة"! - مجلة محكمة

وهذا ما اعترف به رئيس وزراء قطر السابق حمد بن جاسم عندما كشف أن بلاده مع السعودية والإمارات موّلت هذه التنظيمات بـ 176 مليار دولار متذرّعاً بأنهم لم يكونوا على علم بأنها إرهابية.

وأشار الى قيادات لبنانية تلقت مالاً من هذه الكمية لدعم داعش والنصرة وهم سعد الحريري والريفي ونهاد المشنوق بالإضافة الى النائب عقاب، وهي مبالغ بمئات ملايين الدولارات.

فهل تقبل دولة لبنان الكبير والأرز الشامخ تصريحات سعد المرشح لتشكيل حكومة جديدة؟

لقد ذهب سعد نحو استمالة أهالي بيروت بتأكيده أكثر من مرة على ضرورة ترميمها ساعياً الى كسب السنة اللبنانيين والسوريين بالتأكيد على أنه يعمل من أجلهم، مرتحلاً نحو سورية معبراً عن قلقه على 85 في المئة من أهلها السنة، معلناً انه المدد للمعارضات السورية، وهذه المعارضات لم تعد موجودة إلا من خلال داعش في البادية وبعض انحاء شرق الفرات، وتنظيمات الاخوان المسلمين وهيئات تحرير الشام والقاعدة في غرب سورية.

يمكن هنا الاستنتاج الوازن بأن الشيخ سعد بدأ بإعادة وصل نماذج جديدة من عقاب صقر مع هذه التنظيمات.

على مستوى السنة السوريين، فالشيخ سعد يعرف أن التمايزات المذهبية في سورية خفيفة ولو وقف 85 في المئة من السوريين معادين للأسد لما تمكنت دولته من مجابهة تدخلات من كل الإرهاب العالمي بدعم واحتلال اميركي أوروبي تركي مباشر وإسناد من عشرات الدول الأخرى.

إنهم اذاً اولئك السوريون من كل الانتماءات الدينية، وخصوصاً السنة الذين يدافعون عن سورية ضد الإرهاب السعودي الفكري والسياسي والمادي الذي يروّج له رئيس سابق لحكومة لبنان يعمل لإعادة تكليفه من جديد.

فهل تشكل إطلالات سعد على الموضوع السوري محاولة لتعزيز الدور السعودي المتراجع في ما تبقى من معارضات سورية وهمية تعمل الآن في خدمة المشروع التركي؟

للتذكير فقط فإن أكثر من 15 مليون سوري يقيمون ضمن سيادة الدولة السورية على الرغم من عدوان دولي عربي إقليمي على سورية منذ عقد كامل. ولا تزال الدولة تقدّم الخدمات الأساسية لمواطنيها وسط حصار أميركي أوروبي عليها بمشاركة حلفائهم، فيما لم يتمكن المرحوم رفيق وابنه سعد من تأمين مياه وكهرباء واستقرار نسبي للبنانيين بعد ثلاثة عقود من إمساكهم برئاسة مجلس الوزراء.

ما هو المطلوب اذاً؟

اولا موقف من دولة لبنان بأنها لا تقبل أي علاقات مع معارضات إرهابية في بلد شقيق هي أيضاً عضو في الأمم المتحدة ومجاورة للبنان.

أما الأحزاب والقوى والشخصيات اللبنانية الحليفة لسورية، فالمعتقد أنها لن تتأخر في إدانة مواقف سعد السورية مع الإصرار على دعم الدولة السورية بقيادة «أسدها»، هذه الدولة التي تمكنت عبر هزيمة الإرهاب من حماية المشرق العربي بأسره من البحر المتوسط اللبناني حتى أعالي العراق واليمن لان انتصار الارهاب كان قابلاً للتمدد في مختلف دول المنطقة، وراحلاً نحو إعادة تشكيل الشرق الاوسط الاميركي الكبير بطريقة تفتيت الدول وتجذير صراعات الطوائف والقوميات والمذاهب، وهذا ما ذهبت اليه المقابلة الإعلامية لسعد الحريري.

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How Nasrallah’s sharp answer to Macron was softened by French media

October 04, 2020

Having failed to take advantage of the crisis to hand over Lebanon to the Hariri-Miqati-Siniora clique, main responsible for the decay of Lebanon since 15 years, as well as to the diktats of the IMF, Macron crossed all the red lines, unable to understand that France no longer runs the show in the Middle East. Hezbollah, for its part, has firmly denounced his conduct while respecting the rules of diplomacy, as a mature actor who knows its political and military power and has nothing to prove. As for French mainstream newspapers like Le Monde, as the sycophant journalists they are, they engage in gross falsifications to support the official narrative, taking advantage of their virtual monopoly on information.

By Resistance News

Read Nasrallah’s response in full below the article.

On September 26, Lebanese Prime Minister Mustapha Adib announced his resignation, having been unable to form a new government by the deadline. He was appointed on August 31, in the wake of the French initiative aimed at forming a government within 15 days. The previous government led by Hassan Diab resigned days after the Beirut port explosion on August 4, which killed some 200 people and left thousands homeless.

The Western media have blamed the Hezbollah-Amal tandem for this failure, accusing them of having demanded that the Ministry of Finance be devolved to a Shiite, allegedly violating the requirement of independence and neutrality, or even, according to France’s main newspaper Le Monde,  trampling upon customs and the Lebanese Constitution:

But [Nasrallah] did not explain the Shiite duo’s stubbornness in [wanting] to control the financial portfolio, contrary to the Constitution and customary rules.

In a press conference on Sunday, September 27 that lasted nearly an hour, held in linkup between Paris and Beirut, Macron strongly criticized the Lebanese political class in general and Hezbollah in particular, using reproaches and epithets light-years away from traditional diplomatic language (is this why the Élysée does not provide transcripts of presidential speeches?). Macron notably denounced

[…] a political class subjected to the deadly game of corruption and terror. […] The leaders of the Lebanese institutions did not wish, clearly, resolutely, explicitly, did not wish to respect the commitment made to France and to the international community. […] The Lebanese authorities and political forces have chosen to privilege their partisan and individual interests to the detriment of the general interest of the country. […] They made the choice to hand over Lebanon to the game of foreign powers, to condemn it to chaos instead of allowing it to benefit from the international aid which the Lebanese people need. […]

Lebanese politicians have made it impossible, by their dark maneuvers, to form a mission government capable of carrying out the reforms. Some first preferred to consolidate the unity of their camp rather than that of the Lebanese as a whole by negotiating among themselves to better trap others, by reintroducing a sectarian criterion that was not agreed by all for the appointment of ministers, as if competence was related to faith. The others believed they could impose the choices of their party and of Hezbollah in the formation of the government, in total contradiction with the needs of Lebanon and with the commitments explicitly taken withme on September 1. They did not want to make any concessions, until the end. Hezbollah cannot simultaneously be an army at war with Israel, a militia unleashed against civilians in Syria and a respectable party in Lebanon. He must not think he is stronger than he is and it is up to him to show that he respects the Lebanese as a whole. In recent days he has clearly shown the opposite. […]

No one has lived up to the commitments made on September 1. All of the (Lebanese ruling class) bet on the worst with the sole aim of saving themselves, of saving the interests of their family, of their clan. They won’t. To all of them I say today that none of them can win against the others. I therefore decide to take good note of this collective betrayal and of the refusal of Lebanese officials to commit in good faith to the contract that France offered them on September 1. They bear full responsibility. It will be heavy. They will have to answer for it before the Lebanese people. […]

I assert very clearly this evening my condemnation of all political leaders. […]

[The Lebanese leaders] are afraid of Hezbollah, they are afraid of war. […]

The question really is in the hands of President [of the Parliament Nabih] Berri and Hezbollah: do you want the politics of the worst today, or do you want to re-engage the Shiite camp in the camp of democracy and Lebanon’s interest? You cannot claim to be a political force in a democratic country by terrorizing with arms and you cannot be around the table durably if you do not keep your commitments around the table. […]

I am ashamed. I am ashamed for your leaders. […]

You have a system of terror that has taken hold and that Hezbollah has imposed. […]

Macron therefore accused the entire Lebanese political class, all officials and all institutions, without exception, in extremely serious terms (traitors, perjurers, corrupt, terrorists, profiteers, clans, despising the people, untrustworthy, etc.), while absolving France of all responsibility, of any breach: “Where are the responsibilities? They are not those of France.” And clearly, according to him, the greatest part of the responsibility for this failure would fall on Hezbollah, characterized as “militia, terrorist group and political force”, and threatened with sanctions or even of war if it does not come to a better frame of mind:

Sanctions don’t seem like the right instrument at this stage, [but] I haven’t ruled them out at some point. […] There are two lines, there are not three: there is a line which, I believe, is still the one followed by the international community, which is to get behind our initiative and the (French) roadmap. There is another line which may seem attractive and which has been taken by some, which is what I would call the worst-case policy, which is to say basically, we must now declare war on Hezbollah, and therefore Lebanon must collapse with Hezbollah.

So many bellicose declarations which did not prevent the virtuoso of 49-3 [clause of the French Constitution allowing the government to compel the majority if reluctant to adopt a text without a vote, and end any obstruction from the opposition] and torturer of the Yellow Vests from concluding by emphasizing his humble and prudent attitude (“I have a lot of humility”) and his respect for the sovereignty of the peoples (“The line which is mine everywhere [is] that of respecting the sovereignty of peoples”). One can only imagine what the gist of his speech would have been without these valuable qualities.

In a speech of September 29 that lasted nearly an hour and a half, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, responded at length to what can only be characterized as a blatant attack by the French President, trampling on the proprieties and on the sovereignty of Lebanon, to the point that even the pro-NATO Le Monde characterized Macron’s intervention as an “incendiary speech”, a “cannon blast” by a “professor scolding a class of dunces, who cannot open their mouth in front of him”. But we should not rely on the mainstream media to know the content of the speech of the Secretary General of Hezbollah. Here is a list of the approximations, omissions and falsifications of Le Monde in its account of Nasrallah’s intervention, reviewed and corrected by the statements of the chief interested party.

An agreement on the content, but the style is to be reviewed, according to the head of the Lebanese Hezbollah”. Thus begins the brief, free-access article in Le Monde devoted to this speech. Yet Nasrallah made it clear that he denounced both the style and content of the French attitude, and especially developed his criticism of the substance, which occupied almost all of his speech. If he remarked that “We know the French as well educated people, diplomats, who use a (tempered) language even if the content may be vehement, trying to wrap it with conciliatory words. I don’t understand what happened to them on Sunday night.”, he stated unequivocally that he was not only denouncing “the style”, but that “the procedures, the format and the content” of Paris’ approach must be “thoroughly reviewed”: “I call on (France) to (fully) reconsider things at the level of its conduct, actions, understanding, analysis, conclusions, and even management and language used.

In essence, what did the French initiative plan? According to Le Monde,

Lebanese political parties, including Hezbollah, had pledged to Mr. Macron, who came to Beirut in early September, to form a cabinet of “competent” and “independent” ministers from the political swamp within two weeks, condition for the release of international aid essential to the recovery of the country in crisis.

Nasrallah confirms this point, adding a crucial question:

All you talked about was forming a mission government with competent, independent ministers. Very well. But these independent ministers, who should name them? Who was to name them? It was not mentioned in the (French) initiative. No one agreed on how to appoint these ministers.

The very appointment of the Prime Minister responsible for forming the government was not negotiated. In fact, Mustapha Adib was appointed by a Club made up arbitrarily of four political opponents of Hezbollah, the former Prime Ministers Fouad Siniora, Najib Miqati, Tammam Salam and Saad Hariri, leaders, members or affiliated to the pro-Western 14-March alliance. Nasrallah reports it in detail:

At this time, a Club was formed, the Club of 4 (former) Prime Ministers. It is not fair to speak absolutely of a “Former Prime Ministers’ Club”, because the former Prime Minister (Salim) el-Hoss is still alive, and was not a member. Prime Minister Hassan Diab is also a former Prime Minister today (and was not present in this Club), so that makes two former Prime Ministers (who were excluded from this committee). This Club started to meet, as they declared, on several occasions, [and] they came up with three names, (clearly) favoring Professor Mustapha Adib. All the clues showed that they had appointed Professor Mustapha Adib as Prime Minister.

That night, as everyone was in a hurry and we had a 15-day deadline (to form the government), we inquired about the identity of this man, his liabilities and the data concerning him (which was) reasonable and positive, and in order to make things easier, we have not placed any conditions (on his appointment as Prime Minister), we have not asked for an encounter with him, we have not made any prior agreement with him. Some people are now saying that it was a mistake from our side, but whether (this decision) was right or wrong is not the point. Either way, our endorsement clearly expresses our desire to make things easier. We wanted to facilitate (the success of this French initiative). Because in any government, the most important figure is that of the head of government! But we accepted this suggestion (of the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”) on the assumption that this government would be formed on the basis of the broadest representation, and the broadest support (of all political forces), so that it would be able to move forward and get things done in such difficult circumstances.

If Nasrallah stressed the notable absence of Hassan Diab and Salim el-Hoss, two former Prime Ministers of Lebanon still alive, in the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club” who chose the new Head of government, it is because their presence would have allowed for a better representation of the balance of political forces in Lebanon. Indeed, these 2 independent figures did not belong to the March 14 alliance, and were closer to Hezbollah and its allies of the March 8 alliance, which is the country’s leading political force, holding the majority in the Parliament since the 2018 elections. In fact, it is the parliamentary minority of March 14, notoriously hostile to Hezbollah, that chose the Prime Minister, who must be Sunni according to the Constitution but can belong to any political party. But from a conciliatory perspective, and with the understanding that the government must be formed in a concerted and representative manner, Hezbollah did not object:

If we have to talk about who obstructed and who facilitated (the French initiative), I would remind you that we accepted the appointment of Mustapha Adib without prior agreement, without conditions or discussions. We have presumed good intentions (from everyone). But it was in the perspective of moving towards an agreement and facilitating (the joint formation of the government).

However, contrary to expectations, there was no consultation for the formation of the government thereafter, neither with the President of the Republic, nor with the political forces represented in Parliament, as Nasrallah points out:

After the appointment of Mr. Mustapha Adib, […] there was no discussion, no interview, no debate, no solicitation of each other’s opinions (in order to form the government). To the point that subsequently, the President of the Republic was forced to summon heads or representatives of parliamentary groups to discuss it with them. Because (the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”) considered that (any consultation) was useless. And I’ll explain why. Even with the President of the Republic, who in reality does not represent a (particular) political force, but is, according to the Constitution, a partner in the formation of the government, his role not being limited only to accepting or rejecting (such or such government). He had the right, from the start, to discuss with the Head of Government the distribution of portfolios, the names of ministers, the nature of the government, etc. But it hasn’t happened once. Not even once. It’s like it was just a matter of forming a government and submitting it to President Aoun for approval or rejection, with no (possible discussion or) alternative route.

If he signs (his approval for such a government), it will mean a de facto government which will not have been discussed with him at all, neither at the level of its nature, nor at the level of the distribution of portfolios, nor at the level of the names of ministers, which amounts to remove the main remaining prerogative devolved to the President of the Republic after the Taif agreement, namely his participation in the formation of the government. And France must be aware of its (serious) mistake —I am now starting my denunciation. France was covering a political operation which would have led to the removal of the main remaining prerogative of the President of the Lebanese Republic. And if President Aoun refused to sign, the country would be turned upside down, the media & political opponents were ready (to go wild), as was French pressure, accusing President Aoun of obstruction (and sabotage). Of course, I don’t know if there were any negotiations with the Progressive Party or the Lebanese Forces (which are part of the March 14 minority alliance), but I know that there have been no negotiations with the political components who are our friends & allies, and with whom we hold the majority in Parliament.

Has Hezbollah gone against “the Constitution and customary rules” by demanding a say in the formation of government and the appointment of Shiite ministers, as Le Monde claims? Or was it his opponents who decided to ignore both the Constitution and customary rules and use the alleged advantage conferred on them by the initiative of their French godfather? The Lebanese Constitution, mentioned without further details by Le Monde, stipulates that

The President of the Republic shall designate the Prime Minister in consultation with the President of the Chamber of Deputies based on binding parliamentary consultations, the content of which he shall formally disclose to the latter. [Art. 53]

The Prime Minister is the Head of Government […]. He shall conduct the parliamentary consultations for forming the government. He shall sign, with the President of the Republic, the Decree of its formation. [Art. 64]

The sectarian groups shall be represented in a just and equitable manner in the formation of the Cabinet. [Art. 95]

The constitutional requirement to involve both the President of the Republic and the Parliament in the appointment of the Prime Minister and the formation of the government, flouted by the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”, is manifest; and in a country where the President is elected by Parliament, it is eminently more democratic to let the Parliament, elected by direct universal suffrage (albeit on a confessional basis), form the government, than to leave it entirely to the prerogative of an individual appointed by 4 personalities belonging to the same faith and to the same political force, in addition to being a minority, even if it enjoys the favors of France. Moreover, in a restricted-access articleLe Monde half-heartedly acknowledges the preponderant influence of the pro-Western alliance of March 14 in the formation of the Adib government:

“We were being asked to hand over the country to the Club of former Prime Ministers,”Nasrallah added, referring to the alliance Saad Hariri forged with three of his predecessors to closely direct Mustapha Adib. But he did not explain the stubbornness of the Shiite duo in controlling the financial portfolio, contrary to the Constitution and customary rules.

Without specifying the fact that a single political group, the March 14 alliance, had appointed the Prime Minister, Le Monde presents the requirement of Hezbollah’s participation as contrary to customs and to the Constitution, while it is quite the opposite : it was a democratic and constitutional requirement, by virtue of which the Parliament, which directly represents the people, unlike the Prime Minister and the President who represent them indirectly, must participate in the formation of the government. Hezbollah is not claiming, as Macron absurdly claims, that “competence [is] linked to confession”, nor is he rejecting, as Le Monde maintains, “the idea of ​​a collective of experts chosen on the basis of their skills”. Given the sectarian nature of the voting system in Lebanon, it is obvious that the democratic requirement must involve the representatives of each political force elected to Parliament in the choice of the holder of the ministerial portfolios which will be attributed to them, on both a political and religious basis. Far from a derogation to the “customary rule”, this is how ALL previous governments have been formed, without exception, since 2005: after an agreement of the political forces on the name of the Prime Minister, the nature of the government and the distribution of portfolios were negotiated between them, and each parliamentary group appointed its ministers, accepted without discussion by the Head of government. The only innovation in this scheme was that of Hassan Diab in 2019, when he allowed himself to negotiate the names of the proposed ministers until a personality accepted by both parties was proposed.

If Hezbollah is indeed the only party to have opposed the plan put forward by the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”, it is quite simply because it is the only party which has been consulted by Saad Hariri, acting as the representative of both Prime Minister Mustapha Adib and the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”. But the law, use and common sense made it necessary for Hariri & Adib to meet with all the forces represented in Parliament, though  they declined to. Contrary to what Le Monde claims, it was not simply a question of the Minister of Finance and Hezbollah, and far from remaining silent on this subject, Nasrallah justified at length the requirement to see each politico-confessional force appoint its own minister:

Certainly there were negotiations with us, that is true. Because naturally, for one reason or another, the force represented by Hezbollah and Amal could not be ignored [the Shiites are the main community in Lebanon, and the first political force, all their deputies being part of the Amal- Hezbollah alliance].

The first point of negotiation was that [Hariri demanded that] the government be formed of 14 ministers. The second point was the rotation of ministerial portfolios, implying that we abandon the Ministry of Finance. The third point is that all the ministers had to be appointed by the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club” (who are Sunnis) for all faiths: Sunnis, Shiites, Christians, Druze, they wanted to appoint all the ministers. Fourth, they alone were to decide on the distribution of ministerial portfolios among the various faiths. When we asked them how they were going to proceed, they did not answer, everything was left to their whim. In short, they were deciding everything, and we and the other forces in the country just had to take good note (of their unilateral decision). […]

Why do you want to impose new uses, suppress (the role of) parliamentary groups and the parliamentary majority, suppress the President of the Republic and suppress political forces, and monopolize the formation of the government in the interest of a single party, which represents only a part of the current parliamentary minority, although we respect it and respect its position? But this is a whole new way of doing things, which contradicts the traditions, the Constitution and the democracy that Mr. Macron demands of us! […]

If it had been agreed that political parties do not participate in their appointment, Saad Hariri is the leader of a party (and therefore should not have participated). Just as Najib Miqati heads a party, and Fouad Siniora is a member of a party. Why should one political color have the right to appoint all ministers, while all other forces do not have this right? […]

In this project, the most important thing was to see whether the Hezbollah-Amal duo accepted the plan or not. I am saying it frankly. That’s why they didn’t negotiate, discuss and argue with anyone else. They thought that if Hezbollah and Amal walked along, no one would be able to stop this project, because even if President Aoun wanted to exercise his constitutional prerogatives, he would find himself isolated, confronted and put under pressure.

The French initiative, which presented itself as a desire to overcome political and confessional divisions, therefore quickly turned out as a juggernaut aiming to erase all the components of Lebanese political life, except one, that of the pro-Western and pro-French March 14 led by Saad Hariri, who wanted to monopolize the process of forming the government and therefore monopolize the political decision. This was obviously unacceptable to the March 8 parliamentary majority, as Nasrallah explained:

What has been proposed during the last month  is not a government to save Lebanon. What was proposed by the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club” is that in the end, all the parliamentary groups of the country, all the Lebanese political forces, the President of the Parliament and the President of the Republic hand over the country to them, unconditionally, without discussion, without debate, and without asking any questions. What will be the nature of the government, who will be in it, how will the ministries be distributed, etc., none of these points was to be debated, and it was necessary to rely blindly on the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”and accept the government that they were preparing to form (unilaterally), otherwise the sanctions would fall, as would the French pressures which would make us bear the responsibility in the eyes of the Lebanese people and the international community, presenting us as saboteurs. This is the project that has been put forward for one month. […]

If we have rejected this form of government, it is not because we would or would not want to be in the government. The fundamental question we are asking ourselves is that of the interests of Lebanon, of the Lebanese people, the recovery of the country… Because we can go from bad to better, and from bad to worse. The question is, in which direction are we going? To whom were we about to hand over the ark of our salvation? Who would have been at the helm of the saving ship? These 4 Prime Ministers were Prime Ministers from 2005 until just a few months ago. Isn’t it true? They have been Heads of government for 15 years. They are not the only ones responsible for the current situation, of course. We all bear some responsibility. But it is they who bear the greatest burden of responsibility. For they were the Heads of government, and had ministers & officials in (all) (successive) governments. I pin responsibility on them, and I ask them to take responsibility and not to run away from (it). We must help each other, cooperate, work hand in hand. But to believe that we can save Lebanon by handing over the country to the political force that bears the greatest responsibility for the situation we have arrived at for 15 years is completely illogical and even absurd.

The French initiative was indeed planning to put old wine in new wineskins, closely “directed” by the old wineskins which would simply remain behind the scenes but continue to pull the strings: it is the complete opposite of the revival touted by the marketing of the French roadmap, and of Macron’s promises that “no one will give money as long as those who led this villainous system for decades are there and as long as the system will be held by the same people with the same rules”. It is precisely the status quo and the impunity of the “profiteers” that Paris wanted to maintain.

Faced with the irreconcilability of the two parties, Hariri refusing to negotiate, and Hezbollah understandably refusing to give in to this attempted hold-up which tried to instrumentalize the emotion aroused by the national disaster of the explosion of the port of Beirut, France then intervened, asking Hezbollah why it was obstructing government formation and putting pressure on it. Here is Hezbollah’s response, as reported by Nasrallah:

We replied: “O our dear ones, o our friends, did the French initiative provide for a government of 14 ministers?” They said no. “Did the French initiative provide for a Club made up of 4 former Prime Ministers to appoint all the ministers of the government for all faiths?” They said no. “Did the French initiative provide that they would distribute the portfolios between faiths on their own?” They said no. “Did the French initiative provide for the rotation of portfolios, and that the Ministry of Finance would be removed from this faith in favor of another?” They said no, and said they just wanted a smaller government —14, 12, 10, 18 or 20 ministers, and it was up to us to come to an agreement on their appointment. Great. So how are we obstructing the French initiative? Because the debate is now between us and France. They have spoken publicly, to the media, so I do the same. What I am saying is true. The roadmap of the French initiative is accessible to the public, O Lebanese people, and does not mention any of this. […]

In the end, France accepted our view that the Ministry of Finance should remain with the Shiites —I will make clear later the reason for the insistence on this issue and the importance of this point—, but asked that he be appointed by the Head of Government, that is to say by the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”. But we replied that we are not simply looking for the minister to be Shiite and from Shiite parents. We are committed to this minister being Shia because of the decisions he will have to make, and on which we must have a say (it is an issue of political allegiance, and not merely of faith). The Head of Government is capable of finding a Shiite official who is 100% loyal and sincere to him. This is not what we are looking for. We want each denomination to appoint its ministers, even if the Head of Government can refuse names 10, 20 or 30 times, until one can be found that works for all. But this idea was categorically rejected by the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”.

The negotiations were therefore only a vain masquerade, and Saad Hariri wanted, as in 2005 when he capitalized on the emotion aroused by the assassination of his father Rafik Hariri, to fully seize the power, by appointing so-called technocrats selected not so much for their competence, which must be determined collegially and not by co-option, but for their political allegiance. Scarlett Haddad sums it up in L’Orient le Jour, a French-speaking and pro-Western Lebanese daily:

Under the pretext of having chosen Mustapha Adib, the former Prime Ministers have arrogated themselves the right to dictate his attitude, when they should, like the others, have stayed aside. Moreover, in his three meetings with the two Shiite emissaries Ali Hassan Khalil and Hussein Khalil, Mustapha Adib repeated on several occasions that he was obliged to conform to the will of the four former Prime Ministers, since they had named him. In this regard, Amal and Hezbollah recall that they accepted his appointment (the former Prime Ministers had sent a list of three names, two of which were unacceptable for Amal and Hezbollah), but that does not mean that they accept to be totally marginalized in the formation of government. Ultimately, they could have agreed to be, if that was the case for all political parties. But they found out that they were excluded, even from the choice of the Shiite ministers, not to mention the Finance portfolio, while the former Prime Ministers themselves intervene in all the decisions of Mustapha Adib, and that set off their alarm bells. Moreover, this issue was raised during the meeting between Hezbollah’s head of external relations, Ammar Moussaoui, and the French ambassador, Bruno Foucher. But despite this metting, Adib had not changed his style. He did hold two meetings with the Shiite emissaries, but without clearly answering any of their questions. Amal and Hezbollah thought that a trap was set for them. They had the feeling of reliving the situation of 2005: under the shock of the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the Future Movement and the PSP then hastened to conclude with them the famous quadripartite agreement to wrest the parliamentary majority and then turn against them by excluding them from power. Thus, the two parties had the feeling that their opponents were once again seeking to take advantage of an immense tragedy to initially exclude them from executive power, before turning against them. […] And now? The circles close to the Shiite formations believe that it is still quite possible to save the French initiative. But this requires respect for political and community balances.

None of these essential facts is reflected in Le Monde’s report, which suggests that all political parties agreed to pull back in the best interests of Lebanon, while Hezbollah would have rejected any compromise and got tough, caring about nothing but the conservation of its weapons:

Tuesday evening, Hassan Nasrallah raised the one once again, stressing the need for his party to be part of the government, through partisans or not, in order to “protect the back of the resistance”.

This falsification is perhaps the most blatant of all of Le Monde’s lies, and aims to describe Hezbollah as a party from abroad which has nothing to do with the well-being of the Lebanese and only wishes to preserve its military arsenal, supposedly guarantor of its political strength. In fact, Nasrallah precisely said the opposite. In 2005, he explained, Hezbollah had indeed decided to join the government “to protect the back of the Resistance”. But today, he continued, the situation is very different, Hezbollah having nothing to fear for itself, and it is only for Lebanon that it is worried:

I want to explain why, quite frankly, it is impossible for us to be absent from the government. Quite frankly, we fear for what’s left of Lebanon, economically, financially, and in every way. We are afraid for Lebanon and for the Lebanese people. I have already said that we are not afraid for Hezbollah (which would survive and maintain its power even if Lebanon collapsed, because Iran will always be there), but for the country, for the people, for the future of this country. If a government had been formed (without us), how would we know that it wasn’t going to sign a blank check to the IMF and give in to all its demands without discussion? I’m not accusing anyone but it’s a possibility. I know each other’s beliefs (and the March 14 submission to the West). As a parliamentary group, are we going to give our confidence to a government knowing, or very strongly presuming, that it will blindly sign the IMF’s roadmap, without discussion? Whatever the conditions of the IMF, Lebanon would comply. Should we not be afraid that a government, using the pretext of our financial situation or any other pretext, sells national assets? It is already proposed in some projects to sell State property (massive privatization). Should liquidation of Lebanon’s assets be carried out on the pretext of the need to obtain money to pay off the debt, remedy the paralysis, etc., etc., etc.? Shouldn’t we be afraid of such a government, when, and I solemnly assert this to you, during previous governments, two-thirds or more of the ministers bitterly defended an increase in VAT? If the intended government had been formed by Mustapha Adib, the first decision he would have made was to increase VAT on everything. The tax policy would have hit the people, while we promised the Lebanese people that we would not allow it and would not accept it. Can our people endure an increase in VAT? Because of a proposed tax of a few cents on Whatsapp calls, people took to the streets on October 17 (2019). Shouldn’t we fear a government with which we do not know what will happen to the savings of the people in the banks? No our dear ones, we fear for our country, for our people, for national assets, for the savings of the inhabitants. We fear the IMF conditions and we fear to go from a bad situation to a much worse situation.

Though Western media often obscure this reality, Hezbollah is not merely a formidable anti-Zionist, anti-imperialist and sovereignist armed force close to Iran (while its Lebanese adversaries are mere tools of the Washington-Paris-Riyadh Axis) and a Shiite Islamist party representing the largest demographic community in Lebanon; it is also a progressive social force in the service of the most deprived, opposed to the ultraliberal doxa defended by the West and its godchildren of March 14. It is not to protect its weapons that Hezbollah wants to participate in the government, it is above all to protect the sovereignty of Lebanon and the purchasing power of the most humble Lebanese, who would be abused by the March 14 oligarchy ruled by billionaires like Hariri and Miqati.

In conclusion, Nasrallah denounced Macron’s attempt to put Lebanon under trusteeship, and the real attack against Lebanon’s national dignity that his speech constituted, calling on him to renounce interference, pressure and threats:

We welcomed President Macron as a friend of Lebanon, who loves and wants to help Lebanon, get it out of its crises, bring together divergent points of view: this is the way (genuine) friendship, benevolence, mediation, fraternity and love (are expressed). But in no case can there be for anyone, be it the French President or anyone else, the power to impose himself as guardian, governor, ruler, judge & executioner of Lebanon. To my knowledge, the Lebanese have never taken such a decision. […]

I would have liked President Macron to say that it was (only) Hezbollah that thwarted the initiative, no problem, and I wish he had spared the rest of the political forces. […] There is nothing more important than respect. There is nothing more important than the dignity of people. What was violated two days ago (during Macron’s intervention) was national dignity. […] Whoever stands up and accuses everyone without distinction —institutions, parties, political forces, etc.—, in truth this undermines the national dignity and it is unacceptable.

This (paternalist) conduct and this way of doing things will never succeed in Lebanon, whatever the identity of those who exercise them and of those who support them. Whether it is the United States, France, Europe, the international community, the Arab League, the planet or even the whole universe, the language of threats will never work with us. This will never work in Lebanon, and whoever you are, you are wasting your time (trying to intimidate us).

President Macron accused us of terrorizing people, but those who accuse us of intimidating are those who have exercised a policy of intimidation during the past month, against the Presidents (of the Republic, of the Council of Ministers and of the Parliament), parliamentary groups, and political parties & forces in order to impose such a government. The threats, the sanctions, the dangers (mentioned), the idea that we’d be heading for the worst (namely war against Hezbollah), etc. You saw the language (used by Macron). All of this is now public. But it won’t work.

Le Monde‘s approximations and falsifications aim both to denigrate Hezbollah, presented as an instrument of Iran indifferent to the fate of Lebanon and the Lebanese, while it is its best defender, and to perpetuate the myth of French influence in the Middle East by validating Macron’s approach, allegedly accepted even by his fiercest opponents despite some criticism about the style. These illusions may flatter Macron’s oversized ego, but encourage him to keep his doomed paternalistic and neo-colonialist posture. By perpetuating this ignorance, France is only moving further away from Lebanon and the Middle East in general, where its once dominant role is now largely eroded and will be nothing but a bad memory tomorrow.

***

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on September 29, 2020.

We translate in full the central part of the speech devoted to the failure of the French initiative and to Macron’s press conference, key passages of which we have quoted above (emboldened in the transcript).

In introduction and conclusion, Nasrallah briefly touched on the role of the United States in the resurgence of ISIS in Lebanon and elsewhere, the situation in southern Lebanon and the unprecedented disappearance of occupying forces along the entire length of the border since several months, driven awat by fear of an inevitable Hezbollah response, Netanyahu’s recent lies about stockpiles of missiles stored in urban areas of Beirut and the Bahrain-Israel deal, doomed to fail as all the Arab-Israeli peace treaties because the peoples won’t ever accept them.

Source: https://video.moqawama.org/details.php?cid=1&linkid=2168

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

[…] Regarding the internal political situation, I will address the issue of the government, the formation of the new government, the French initiative, and the recent press conference of French President Macron. I want to bring this up first to explain to Lebanese public opinion what happened —of course, there are details that I will only cover briefly, and some truths that I will keep hidden for now, in order to leave the doors open, but I want to present a sufficient picture, I consider that it will be sufficient to understand what happened. And I also want to express our comments on President Macron’s press conference, and about where we are headed.

Regarding the government, after the explosion of the (Beirut) port on August 4, 2020, and the resignation of the government of Hassan Diab, as well as the visit of the French President to Lebanon, and the launch of the French initiative, there were two meetings at the Résidence des Pins (residence of the French Ambassador to Lebanon), in the presence of the French President and 8 parties, political forces or parliamentary groups, which became 9 during the second meeting. An initiative has been presented, the text of which is present and circulated in the media and on social networks, and anyone can refer to it, nothing being hidden about it. We have all said that we support the French initiative. The first step was the formation of a new government. I will get to that in detail in a moment. The first step in the first phase was to appoint the Prime Minister who would form a government. I will tell it as it happened, citing the names, because the Lebanese people have the right to know things clearly. Nothing is secret, and there are no secrets in Lebanon, but I will talk about the facts.

Who were we going to name as Prime Minister? We have agreed that the parliamentary groups will consult on this matter, no problem. We said we would have no problem with the Prime Minister being Saad Hariri, if he wanted to. If he wanted to nominate someone, we had to see who he was going to suggest, and discuss it among ourselves, and accept or not. These were the initial discussions. At this time, a Club was formed, which I will call the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”, because I will often talk about it, the Club of 4 (former) Prime Ministers (Fouad Siniora, Najib Miqati, Tammam Salam and Saad Hariri). It is not fair to speak absolutely of a “Former Prime Ministers’ Club”, because the former Prime Minister (Salim) el-Hoss is still alive, and was not a member. This Club was therefore made up of the last 4 Prime Ministers. Prime Minister Hassan Diab is also a former Prime Minister today (and was not present in this Club), so that makes two former Prime Ministers (who were excluded from this committee). This Club started to meet, as they declared, on several occasions, which is not a problem for us, on the contrary, because we want the greatest understanding between the different forces, movements and political parties of Lebanon, and these people have parliamentary groups and represent political forces. So they came up with three names, (clearly) favoring Professor Mustapha Adib, at least that’s what we understood. All the clues showed that they had appointed Professor Mustapha Adib as Prime Minister.

That night, as everyone was in a hurry and we had a 15-day deadline (to form the government), we inquired about the identity of this man, his liabilities and the data concerning him (which was) reasonable and positive, and in order to make things easier, we have not placed any conditions (on his appointment as Prime Minister), we have not asked for an encounter with him, we have not made any prior agreement with him. Some people are now saying that it was a mistake from our side, but whether (this decision) was right or wrong is not the point. Either way, our endorsement clearly expresses our desire to make things easier. We wanted to facilitate (the success of this French initiative). Because in any government, the most important figure is that of the head of government! In any government, the most important figure is the Prime Minister! But we accepted this suggestion (of the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”) on the assumption that this government would be formed on the basis of the broadest representation, and the broadest support (of all political forces), so that it would be able to move forward and get things done in such difficult circumstances. We therefore accepted this suggestion, very well, everyone was reassured, and the French President came for his second visit, and met everyone after the appointment of Prime Minister Mustapha Adib, inviting us to continue to carry out the French roadmap, reforms, etc.

After the appointment of Mr. Mustapha Adib, the protocol meetings with parliamentary groups (making the appointment official) were held, and it all ended. The Prime Minister has been asked to do so. He’s a respectable and respectful person, I don’t mean anything bad about him, but (the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”) told him to wait, and that someone was going to negotiate. Naturally, the negotiations had to take place with the parliamentary groups, because they are the ones who issue the vote of confidence, and it is not enough that they have (accepted the) appointment of the Prime Minister. There are parliamentary groups that did not vote for the appointment, but could vote confidence (in the government). But they haven’t spoken to anyone, with no political force, at least from what I know. There was no discussion, no interview, no debate, no solicitation of each other’s opinions (in order to form the government). To the point that subsequently, the President of the Republic was forced to summon heads or representatives of parliamentary groups to discuss it with them. Because (the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”) considered that (any consultation) was useless. And I’ll explain why. Even with the President of the Republic, who in reality does not represent a (particular) political force, but is, according to the Constitution, a partner in the formation of the government, his role not being limited only to accepting or rejecting (such or such government). He had the right, from the start, to discuss with the Head of Government the distribution of portfolios, the names of ministers, the nature of the government, etc. But it hasn’t happened once. Not even once. It’s like it was just a matter of forming a government and submitting it to President Aoun for approval or rejection, with no (possible discussion or) alternative route.

If he signs (his approval for such a government), it will mean a de facto government which will not have been discussed with him at all, neither at the level of its nature, nor at the level of the distribution of portfolios, nor at the level of the names of ministers, which amounts to remove the main remaining prerogative devolved to the President of the Republic after the Taif agreement, namely his participation in the formation of the government. And France must be aware of its (serious) mistake —I am now starting my denunciation. France was covering a political operation which would have led to the removal of the main remaining prerogative of the President of the Lebanese Republic. And if President Aoun refused to sign, the country would be turned upside down, the media & political opponents were ready (to go wild), as was French pressure, accusing President Aoun of obstruction (and sabotage). Of course, I don’t know if there were any negotiations with the Progressive Party or the Lebanese Forces (which are part of the March 14 minority alliance, opposed to Hezbollah), but I know that there have been no negotiations with the political components who are our friends & allies, and with whom we hold the majority in Parliament.

Certainly there were negotiations with us, that is true. Because naturally, for one reason or another, the force represented by Hezbollah and Amal could not be ignored [the Shiites are the main community in Lebanon, and the first political force, all their deputies being part of the Amal- Hezbollah alliance]. We therefore discussed with the representative of Mustapha Adib. The identity of the representative of Mustapha Adib or of the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club” posed no problem for us. But it turned out that the representative we spoke to was Saad Hariri (who represented both Adib and the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”).

During the discussions, the points that we understood about the government during the first days, and about which there was dissension between us and Hariri, were as follows. Of course, the negotiations were cordial and respectful.

The first point of negotiation was that [Hariri demanded that] the government be formed of 14 ministers. The second point was the rotation of ministerial portfolios, implying that we abandon the Ministry of Finance. The third point is that all the ministers had to be appointed by the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club” (who are Sunnis) for all faiths: Sunnis, Shiites, Christians, Druze, they themselves wanted to appoint all the ministers. Fourth, they alone should decide on the distribution of ministerial portfolios among the various faiths. When we asked them how they were going to proceed, they did not answer, everything was left to their whim. In short, they were deciding everything, and we and the other forces in the country just had to take good note (of their unilateral decision): we had to take note that the government would have 14 ministers —of course that was the conclusion, but the discussion was calm and respectful—, we had to take note of the rotation of the portfolios, we had to take note of the distribution of the portfolios (between the different faiths) and we had to take note of the names of the ministers who would represent all the religious sects. That is all.

We have debated these points. Regarding the first point, we agreed that 30 ministers were too many, and even 24 ministers, but if we keep only 14 ministers, it is (so to speak) giving two ministries to each person. Even with a single ministry, it is already difficult to operate effectively and competently. This is one of the problems in our country: it is difficult to find competent ministers capable of leading their ministries, (and this problem would have been magnified). Why give two ministries to each minister? We could have agreed on 18 or 20 ministers, it was open to debate, but they insisted on 14 ministers, (refusing any concessions on this point) despite the fact that most of the political forces who were then consulted by the President of the Republic did not want 14 ministers, being in favor of the widest possible representation.

Likewise for the second point, we were opposed to portfolio rotation, and the issue of the Ministry of Finance is well known.

The third point is that of the appointment of ministers. The question is not only that of the Ministry of Finance. Even after establishing that such and such a ministry should be attributed to Christians, Sunnis, Shiites or Druze, they wanted to appoint the said ministers themselves, instead of the political forces or parliamentary groups that represent those faiths. Even leaving the parties aside, the parliamentary groups representing the confessions had to be involved, because they are the elected representatives of their communities: they are the elected representatives of the Lebanese people, and in particular of their faith. But (the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”) didn’t want to involve them in any way, just notify them (of their decision). Of course, this point was unacceptable to us, it was not negotiable. Not just for Shia ministers. That a single political force designates all ministers of all faiths is in our eyes a (great) danger for the country.

Let us take a step back and consider the Taif Accord, the constitutional prerogatives and traditions. Very good. From the Taif Agreement (1989) until 2005… It is not useful to refer to the way governments were formed before the Taif Agreement, because today there is the Taif Agreement. It is not useful to refer to the way in which the governments were formed from the Taif Agreement until 2005, because until 2005, we will be objected that this happened at the time of the Syrian tutelage and the Syrian administration. Very good. So let’s look at things from 2005 to this day: how were all the governments formed, in which you [March 14 Alliance] most often had the parliamentary majority, and were the main political force in the country, applying the Taif Agreement?

(Let’s look at things from) the first government formed after Syrian forces left the country, or during their departure, namely the government of Najib Miqati, to this day. There were always negotiations and agreement on the person of the Prime Minister, who then personally negotiated (with the political forces) to agree on the number of ministers and on the distribution of portfolios, then the ministers were appointed by deputies or parliamentary groups representing each faith, without even the Prime Minister negotiating the names proposed. The only deviation from this took place with the government of Hassan Diab, and we accepted it without problem, namely that the Prime Minister could reject a proposal from deputies or political parties and ask that another minister be suggested to him. We were open to this even before the government of Hassan Diab, and it is with him that we put it into practice. And we were and still are ready to do it this time around. In our view, this is a positive step which strengthens the prerogatives of the Head of Government. It doesn’t weaken him. This was the Prime Minister’s practice in force from 2005 to the present (for the formation of the government). When he came to an agreement with the parliamentary groups and political forces wishing to participate in the government, they would agree on the portfolios and their distribution, but each force appointed its own ministers, and the Prime Minister did not debate the names put forward to him. Today we say that the Prime Minister can debate and refuse the names that are suggested to him, and whoever is refused, we will put him aside and come up with other names. In truth, it is a reinforcement of the prerogatives of the Head of Government, different from all previous stages since the Taif Accord to this date. That is, anyone who wants to use sectarian language and claim that this weakens the status of the Prime Minister, in any case, it strengthens him more than ever! We agreed and considered it normal and logical.

But (this time, the way Ministers would be chosen) remained a point of dispute (between us and the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”).

Regarding the distribution of portfolios (between the different faiths), same thing.

Even with regard to the names put forward (for the post of minister), we were ready to negotiate several ideas that were put forward to us, such as the appointment of ministers who do not belong to any party, or who did not participate in previous governments, or that the Prime Minister can refuse 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 names of ministers who will be proposed to him. We said we didn’t have a problem with that. All of this made things easier and did not obstruct the process! But they remained inflexible in their desire to appoint all the ministers themselves.

They remained inflexible on these four points until the 15th day, without even having taken the trouble to discuss and debate them with the President of the Republic: we had to accept (without discussion) 14 ministers, the rotation of portfolios, the appointment by the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club” of all the ministers, and the distribution of portfolios among the different faiths by the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”. It was unacceptable as far as we are concerned, and we reached a dead end.

Of course, we can discuss this process by comparing it to the way things were done since 2005 to the present day, because they talk about traditions, but governments have never been formed according to these ways. And we can even discuss it from a constitutional point of view, by referring to what the Constitution says about the formation of the government and the role of representatives of the faiths. Because when the Taif Agreement made government the main body of power, the decision-making force, that was something new; and it was established that all faiths should be represented in this government through the representatives of these faiths in the Parliament. I will not dwell on the exegesis of article 95 of the Constitution (affirming the need for the end of confessionalism, but stipulating that in the meantime, “The communities will be fairly represented in the formation of the Government.”), but I only want to say that we can debate the constitutionality (of the procedures of the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”), by saying that this interpretation is possible, without imposing myself the interpretation of this article.

Either way, without getting into a constitutional dispute, these procedures are not those that were in effect from 2005 to the present day. Why do you want to impose new uses, suppress (the role of) parliamentary groups and the parliamentary majority, suppress the President of the Republic and suppress political forces, and monopolize the formation of the government in the interest of a single party, which represents only a part of the current parliamentary minority, although we respect it and respect its position? But this is a whole new way of doing things, which contradicts the traditions, the Constitution and the democracy that Mr. Macron demands of us!

It was at this point that France began to call everyone and put pressure on everyone, in the last days of the 15-day deadline, speaking to the Presidents (of the Chamber of Deputies, of the Council of Ministers and of the Republic ) and to the party leaders —of course, the contacts with us were different—, 30-minute, 45-minute calls from President Macron, the guy was making an effort, that’s good, but in which direction was he making his efforts? I am not going to speak of the debates which took place with the others, which do not concern me, but of those which took place with us. “Why aren’t you in, why are you obstructing things,” we were asked. “We want you to help and make things easier,” we were told. All this was said in diplomatic language but with pressure, threatening us with terrible sanctions, etc.

We replied: “O our dear ones, O our friends, did the French initiative provide for a government of 14 ministers?” They said no. “Did the French initiative provide for a Club made up of 4 former Prime Ministers to appoint all the ministers of the government for all faiths?” They said no. “Did the French initiative provide that they would distribute the portfolios between faiths on their own?” They said no. “Did the French initiative provide for the rotation of portfolios, and that the Ministry of Finance would be removed from this faith in favor of another?” They said no, and said they just wanted a smaller government —14, 12, 10, 18 or 20 ministers, and it was up to us to come to an agreement on their appointment. Great. So how are we obstructing the French initiative? Because the debate is now between us and France. They have spoken publicly, to the media, so I do the same. What I am saying is true. The roadmap of the French initiative is accessible to the public, O Lebanese people, and does not mention any of this: no 14 ministers, no rotation of portfolios, no method of appointing ministers, no distribution of portfolios

In the end, France accepted our view that the Ministry of Finance should remain with the Shiites —I will make clear later the reason for the insistence on this issue and the importance of this point—, but asked that he be appointed by the Head of Government, that is to say by the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”. But we replied that we are not simply looking for the minister to be Shiite and from Shiite parents (it is an issue of political allegiance, and not merely of faith). We are committed to this minister being Shia because of the decisions he will have to make, and on which we must have a say. The Head of Government is capable of finding a Shiite official who is 100% loyal and sincere to him. This is not what we are looking for. We want each denomination to appoint its ministers, even if the Head of Government can refuse names 10, 20 or 30 times, until one can be found that works for all. But this idea was categorically rejected by the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”.

Finally, Saad Hariri declared that he exceptionally accepts that the Minister of Finance be Shiite, but that he must be appointed by the Prime Minister. But we had already rejected this idea 5 days before. He claimed he was drinking the poisoned chalice by accepting this, but there is no reason for you to swallow poison, O Saad Hariri, we wish you health, and God preserve it, and I hope that we will get along eventually, no problem. But what you are suggesting is not a solution, and cannot be the solution. Then the other 3 members of the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”declared that they did not agree with what Saad Hariri had said. I don’t quite understand this story (a puerile attempt to fool us), but we’re not interested in its details anyway.

We reached a dead end: we did not agree on the form of government, on who would appoint ministers, on the rotation, or on the distribution of portfolios. Because of the dead end, the head of government resigned.

I want to make it clear that there was a desire among some to impose a de facto government. I won’t name them, but there was clearly the will to send everyone to hell by (unilaterally) forming a government, appointing ministers and submitting it to the President of the Republic for approval. If he signed, so much the better. If he didn’t sign, everything would be set up against him. But they felt that he would sign because of the difficult situation of Christians and the Free Patriotic Movement, his desire to see his mandate crowned with success, French pressure, etc. They thought he would have no choice, even if they were sorely mistaken about it, because they underestimate President Aoun.

Mustapha Adib, seeing that he would not achieve anything and wouldn’t gain broad support, and not wanting to go towards a confrontation, decided to resign, and it was a respectable choice. We wish he had waited a bit more, but whether he resigned on his own because he couldn’t stand the situation, or has been asked to step down, I don’t know, but it isn’t important anymore.

After the resignation of the Prime Minister —I am still narratiing the facts, I will soon come to our assessment— the media machine financed by the Americans (and their allies) unleashed against President Aoun, Hezbollah or the tandem Amal-Hezbollah, depending on the targets of each. We had been designated as responsible of the failure beforehand, even before the failure of Mustapha Adib. France got angry and announced a press conference of President Macron, and all Lebanese were waiting to see who they blamed. And we all heard his press conference, and the questions and answers from Lebanese (pro-Western) journalists that followed.

After summing up the facts, I would like to make the following comments and clarify for all the following points.

First, what has been proposed during the last month —after the first 15 days ended, 15 days have been added, which makes a month— is not a government to save Lebanon. What was proposed by the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club” is that in the end, all the parliamentary groups of the country, all the Lebanese political forces, the President of the Parliament and the President of the Republic hand over the country to them, unconditionally, without discussion, without debate, and without asking any questions. What will be the nature of the government, who will be in it, how will the ministries be distributed, etc., none of these points was to be debated, and it was necessary to rely blindly on the “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”and accept the government that they were preparing to form (unilaterally), otherwise the sanctions would fall, as would the French pressures which would make us bear the responsibility in the eyes of the Lebanese people and the international community, presenting us as saboteurs. This is the project that has been put forward for one month.

Of course, this was all founded on a wrong assumption. In this project, the most important thing was to see whether the Hezbollah-Amal duo accepted the plan or not. I am saying it frankly. That’s why they didn’t negotiate, discuss and argue with anyone else. They thought that if Hezbollah and Amal walked along, no one would be able to stop this project, because even if President Aoun wanted to exercise his constitutional prerogatives, he would find himself isolated, confronted and put under pressure. (I’m telling you) so that you understand our position. What has been proposed for a month now is not a rescue government, but a government appointed by a “Four Prime Ministers’ Club”, made up of 14 ministers, a sort of Board of Directors, specialist civil servants whose political decision is entirely vested in a single group, which is part of the parliamentary minority in Lebanon and represents only one political color (that of March 14). They represent a large part of Sunnis, but they do not (even) represent all Sunnis. There are many elected Sunni MPs who are not part of this alliance (and are close to Hezbollah).

Such was the plan put forward, and we all had to walk along. But it was all based on a misreading, namely that the current situation was difficult, that people were afraid, were helpless, that the pressures were exerted (from all sides), that the (American) sanctions were coming, already having struck two (former) Hezbollah ministers, Ali Khalil and Yusuf Finyanus, with threats of (additional) sanctions against a list made up of 94 personalities, etc., etc., etc., in addition to French pressure… If they could use such (threatening) language with us, while they are very careful when addressing us, telling us to fear the worst if the project does not come to fruition, what have they told the other (less powerful) forces, what have they threatened them with, what kind of pressure did they put on them? So much for the first point.

In this regard, I want to say that this (paternalist) conduct and this way of doing things will never succeed in Lebanon, whatever the identity of those who exercise them and of those who support them. Whether it is the United States, France, Europe, the international community, the Arab League, the planet or even the whole universe, the language of threats will never work with us. This will never work in Lebanon, and whoever you are, you are wasting your time (trying to intimidate us).

President Macron accused us of terrorizing people, but those who accuse us of intimidating are those who have exercised a policy of intimidation during the past month, against the Presidents (of the Republic, of the Council of Ministers and of the Parliament), parliamentary groups, and political parties & forces in order to impose such a government. The threats, the sanctions, the dangers (mentioned), the idea that we’d be heading for the worst (namely war against Hezbollah), etc. You saw the language (used by Macron). All of this is now public. But it won’t work.

Second, if we have rejected this form of government, it is not because we would or would not want to be in the government. The fundamental question we are asking ourselves is that of the interests of Lebanon, of the Lebanese people, the recovery of the country… Because we can go from bad to better, and from bad to worse. The question is, in which direction are we going? To whom were we about to hand over the ark of our salvation? Who would have been at the helm of the saving ship? These 4 Prime Ministers were Prime Ministers from 2005 until just a few months ago. Isn’t it true? They have been heads of government for 15 years. They are not the only ones responsible for the current situation, of course. We all have some responsibility. But it is they who bear the greatest burden of responsibility. For they were the Heads of Government, and had ministers & officials in (all) (successive) governments. I blame responsibility on them, and I ask them to take responsibility and not to run away from (it). We must help each other, cooperate, work hand in hand. But to believe that we can save Lebanon by handing over the country to the political force that bears the greatest responsibility for the situation we have arrived at for 15 years is completely illogical and even absurd.

As far as Hezbollah is concerned, you know that before 2005, we didn’t want to participate in governments, (but then we changed our mind). Why? I talked about it a lot during the 2018 elections during the electoral rallies, and I explained why we had to be present in governments (after 2005). It’s not because we’re after honors, ministries, dignities or money. Glory to God who has provided us with His blessings, so much so that we have no need of this State’s wages, budget, or wealth. I had spoken of a clear reason, to which I will add a second reason today. The reason I mentioned was the need to protect the rear of the Resistance. I’ve explained it at length, and no need to repeat myself. Some of our friends say that Hezbollah does not need to participate in governments to protect itself. This is a respectable point of view, but we do not share it. Why? We have to be in government. Whether it is a partisan government or not, it is open to debate. But we (had explained that) must be present in the government to protect the rear of the Resistance, so that the experience of the government of May 5, 2008 is not repeated [the government of Fouad Siniora and Walid Joumblatt wanted to dismantle the underground communications network of Hezbollah, central element of its military force, and to push the army to fight the Resistance; this seditious plan was neutralized by force of arms, the only time where Hezbollah used its weapons on the domestic scene]. Who was this government made up of? From the very people who want to form the new government today. It is exactly the same as the government of May 5, 2008. The government of May 5, 2008 had taken a dangerous decision which was going to lead to a clash between the Lebanese Army and the Resistance, which is an American, Israeli and Saudi project. We were able to avoid it. Quite frankly, we have no fear of the military institution, the leadership of the military, or its officers and soldiers. Because it is a national and patriotic institution. But we have the right (and the duty) to be wary of political authorities and political decision-making. And we decided to be present in the government to protect the rear of the Resistance. This is the first point (which I mentioned in 2018).

And as for the second point that I will announce now, during all the past debates, Hezbollah was accused of being an armed Resistance, of having fought in Syria, Iraq, and whatnot, in Palestine, and of neglecting the economic, financial and social situation, etc. And a whole host of accusations and equations have been deployed (against us), like our weapons in exchange for (ending) corruption, (saving) the economy in exchange for Resistance, etc. I will not discuss this point, but I want to build on it, in order to explain why, quite frankly, it is impossible for us to be absent from the government. Quite frankly, we fear for what’s left of Lebanon, economically, financially, and in every way. We are afraid for Lebanon and for the Lebanese people. I have already said that we are not afraid for Hezbollah (which would survive and maintain its power even if Lebanon collapsed, because Iran will always be there), but for the country, for the people, for the future of this country. If a government had been formed (without us), how would we know that it wasn’t going to sign a blank check to the IMF and give in to all its demands without discussion? I’m not accusing anyone but it’s a possibility. I know each other’s beliefs (and the March 14 submission to the West). As a parliamentary group, are we going to give our confidence to a government knowing, or very strongly presuming, that it will blindly sign the IMF’s roadmap, without discussion? Whatever the conditions of the IMF, Lebanon would comply. Should we not be afraid that a government, using the pretext of our financial situation or any other pretext, sells national assets? It is already proposed in some projects to sell State property (massive privatization). Should liquidation of Lebanon’s assets be carried out on the pretext of the need to obtain money to pay off the debt, remedy the paralysis, etc., etc., etc.? Shouldn’t we be afraid of such a government, when, and I solemnly assert this to you, during previous governments, two-thirds or more of the ministers bitterly defended an increase in VAT? If the intended government had been formed by Mustapha Adib, the first decision he would have made was to increase VAT on everything. The tax policy would have hit the people, while we promised the Lebanese people that we would not allow it and would not accept it. Can our people endure an increase in VAT? Because of a proposed tax of a few cents on Whatsapp calls, people took to the streets on October 17 (2019). Shouldn’t we fear a government with which we do not know what will happen to the savings of the people in the banks? No our dear ones, we fear for our country, for our people, for national assets, for the savings of the inhabitants. We fear the IMF conditions and we fear to go from a bad situation to a much worse situation.

I am not claiming that we have quick fixes. We have put forward alternative solutions, such as the petroleum products of Iran (which can be acquired in Lebanese currency or against goods) which would save billions of dollars to the State Treasury, turning to the East, without renouncing the West if possible, namely towards Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, etc. France is afraid of these alternatives, and especially the United States. There are alternatives (to the West). We are not talking about replacement but about cooperation (with both East and West, to our advantage). But as far as we are concerned, we will never turn our backs and close our eyes to blindly hand over the country to any government that will run the economy and the finances of the country as it pleases. This is no longer an option. It is not just a question of participating in power or not.

Second, when you blamed all the political forces for the failure, Mr. Macron… I am not going to defend Hezbollah. On the contrary, I would have liked President Macron to say that it was Hezbollah that thwarted the initiative, no problem, and I wish he had spared the rest of the political forces. In reality, there are political forces in Lebanon that no one has spoken to, that have not been solicited, with whom no one has negotiated, and who do not even know what happened! If we ourselves, who were involved in the negotiations, did not know the names of the ministers, nor (the distribution of) portfolios, it means that other forces knew absolutely nothing (of what was going on). So how can you blame them like you do? You accused all the Presidents of the (Lebanese) institutions. All right, (let’s say that) the Speaker of the Parliament (Nabih Berri) is part of the (Amal-Hezbollah) tandem. But the President of the Republic, what is the mistake he made, what are the failings he is accused of? Why should he be held responsible? Because Macron put the responsibility on (absolutely) everyone: the Presidents (of the Parliament, of the Council of Ministers and of the Republic), the institutions and all the political forces. He even included the President of the Republic! What are the errors or inadequacies he is accused of? The issue didn’t even reach him! Nobody came to bring him a proposal for the distribution of portfolios and names of ministers!

Third, when we are blamed and accused of leading the country to the worst, I say it is quite the opposite! What we have done is prevent the country from going to the worst of the worst. We are still in a bad situation, but we hope that the (French) initiative will reconsider its approach and that the Lebanese will cooperate so that we can go from bad to good (and not from bad to worse).

Next point, what are the promises we made that we would not have kept? A roadmap has been put on the table. Our brother Hajj Mohammad Raad, God preserve him, leader of the parliamentary bloc of the Loyalty to Resistance, and true representative of Hezbollah at the (negotiating) table, frankly said that we agreed with 90% of the content of this roadmap. Macron asked him if he was sure, and he said yes, although he did not determine what 10% we disagreed with. But even assuming that we would have accepted 100% of this road map, it stipulates in no way the method that was implemented, nor this mode of government formation (by a single political color, minority and hostile to Hezbollah, to the detriment of all the others). O President Macron, what have we promised and how have we broken our word? How can you accuse us of breaking our commitments and being unworthy of respect? How can you accuse us of perjury? At first you talked about a government of national unity, and then you backtracked and gave up on the idea. We understood and didn’t object. Some have spoken of a translation error, others of American or Saudi pressure, whatever. All you talked about was forming a mission government with competent, independent ministers. Very well. But these independent ministers, who should name them? Who was to name them? It was not mentioned in the (French) initiative. No one agreed on how to appoint these ministers. If it had been agreed that political parties do not participate in their nomination, Saad Hariri is the leader of a party (and therefore should not have participated). Just as Najib Miqati heads a party, and Fouad Siniora is a member of a party. Why should one political color have the right to appoint all ministers, while all other forces do not have this right?

Mr. President, O Lebanese people, we have never made a commitment to accept any government at all, whatever be its formation and whatever be its composition. We have never made a commitment to hand the country over to any government at all, regardless of the way it’ll be formed and regardless of its composition. No one has agreed on how the government will be formed and how the ministers should be appointed. This was neither mentioned in the project nor in the (French) initiative. On the contrary, the initiative was instrumentalized to impose this project on the Lebanese political parties and forces. O French President, we are well-known, both to our friends and to our enemies, for keeping our promises and our commitments, and our (high) credibility with both friends and enemies is well established. Our way of doing things is well-known, and when we make promises it is well-known that we are willing to sacrifice anything to keep those promises. We go so far as to anger our friends and allies for keeping our promises. I don’t need to give examples, this is well-known (in Lebanon).

Among the points that I would like to mention is that no one has the right to use promises of financial aid to simply suppress the main political forces of the country, and wipe out the result of the elections (which gave the parliamentary majority to Hezbollah and its allies). President Macron tells Amal and Hezbollah, the Shiites, that they must choose between democracy and the worst. We have chosen democracy. What you are asking us is contrary to democracy. If democracy is not elections (and respect for their outcome), then what is democracy? The 2018 elections elected a parliamentary majority. And what you are asking, O President, is that the parliamentary majority withdraw and hand over the country and its own neck to the parliamentary minority, to a part of the parliamentary minority! We have chosen (to respect the result of) legislative and municipal elections, to respect the preeminence of the Parliament (main political body according to the Constitution), and to cooperate. We didn’t choose the worst.

We did not choose war. We didn’t attack anyone. It was the Zionists who attacked our country, forcing war on us and occupying our territory, seizing our choices and our resources. And it is they who threaten our country. We did not go to Syria to fight civilians. We went to Syria, with the agreement of the Syrian government, to fight the groups that you yourself designate as terrorists and takfiris [Nasrallah did not mention the well-known fact that France has armed, financed and supported these terrorist groups ]. And France is part of the international alliance (which claims to) fight them. And you yourselves are present in Syria (for this same reason), illegally, without the agreement of the Syrian government. We did not go to fight civilians in Syria, but to defend our country, Lebanon, as well as Syria and the region against the most dangerous project in the history of the region after the Zionist project, namely the terrorist and takfiri project.

We are not part of the corrupt class. We have never stole government money. Everyone knows where our money comes from, clearly (it comes from Iran). We have neither money nor financial oligarchies to defend, nor private (lucrative) projects to defend. We do not allow anyone to address us in this way or describe us in this way.

If we have to talk about who obstructed and who facilitated (the French initiative), I would remind you that we accepted the appointment of Mustapha Adib without prior agreement, without conditions or discussions. We have presumed good intentions (from everyone). But it was in the perspective of moving towards an agreement and facilitating (the joint formation of the government). As for giving up (everything) or surrendering the country blindly, that is quite another matter.

We are not playing the game of terrorism and intimidation against anyone in Lebanon. Macron has unfortunately thrown this accusation, aimed at questioning the result of the elections (which would have been obtained by the threat of weapons), but you only have to question your embassy and your intelligence services in Lebanon, who will tell you how many media, journalists, politicians, newspapers and social networks, in our small country, insult us day and night, vilify us day and night, denigrate us day and night, slander us deceitfully and unfairly day and night. And they live peacefully, not fearing for their lives. If they were afraid (of us), they wouldn’t open their mouths. While there are Arab countries that you protect and of which you are the friend and ally, and where nobody dares to publish even a Tweet to express a position against the normalization (of relations with Israel), or a criticism against such and such king, such prince or such regime. No, we don’t intimidate anyone. If anyone is afraid, that’s their problem, but we don’t intimidate anyone. And you just have to come and ask the locals.

The last point on the matter is that I hope that the French leaders will not (blindly) listen to certain Lebanese (sides), and that if they themselves hold this wrong view, they will amend it. We must not blame everything on Iran, which would have hampered the French initiative by asking for intransigence on the appointment of ministers, and asking the Amal-Hezbollah tandem not to let go of the Ministry of Finance. All of these accusations against Iran are meaningless and unfounded. Iran is not like that. Iran is not like you (France or the United States, countries who interfere, threaten, demand, impose, etc.). Iran does not interfere in Lebanese affairs. The decision in Lebanon is in our hands, it is we who determine what we want to do, what we accept or refuse. We in Hezbollah, in the Hezbollah-Amal tandem and with our allies, decide everything that concerns us in Lebanon. Iran does not interfere or impose. You know that for 20 years, and even for more than 20 years, because I speak of the period when I was the Hezbollah Secretary General, during which the link with Iran is made directly with me, since 1992, all those who were talking (about Lebanon) with Iran, Iran invited them to speak directly to us, because our decision is in our hands.

Hezbollah is accused of delaying matters pending the outcome of negotiations between Iran and the United States, while there are no negotiations between Iran and the United States. At least during this election period, it’s official, Iran has made it clear that there will be no dialogue (with the Trump administration). Some claim that Iran is pressuring France (in order to get a favorable vote) in the Security Council (regarding the proposed US embargo). But this is completely absurd. If this ignorance and wrong thinking persist, nothing will be achieved in Lebanon, for wrong assumptions will always lead to wrong results.

Mr. Macron, if you want to identify those outside Lebanon who thwarted your initiative, look towards the United States which threatened sanctions and imposed sanctions, and look towards the King of Saudi Arabia and his speech at the UN (where he violently attacked Iran and Hezbollah).

As for the form (of your intervention), when you come to say that all the political forces, all the Presidents, all the constitutional institutions, etc., have committed a betrayal, by what right (do you say such a thing)? What are you basing yourself on? Who said they committed treason? First, we don’t accept that you accuse us (of anything) and say that we have committed treason. As far as we are concerned, we categorically reject it and condemn it (firmly). This condescending behavior with us and with all the Lebanese political forces is unacceptable. We do not accept this language or this process. We do not allow anyone to doubt our dignity and honor, or the fact that we keep our promises and respect others. We do not accept anyone accusing us of corruption. And if the French friends have corruption files on Hezbollah ministers, deputies or officials, indicating that we have taken State money, I accept that you hand them over to the Lebanese justice, and we’ll hand over anyone who is affected by such a corruption case. It is a very serious challenge, which I have put forward a hundred times and which I reaffirm. But just throwing gratuitous accusations like that, denouncing the entire political class and all the institutions as corrupt, is unacceptable.

When President Macron visited Lebanon, we welcomed the French initiative. But we have never accepted that he is the attorney general, investigator or judge, we have never accepted that he is the guardian, the ruler or the governor of Lebanon. No way. We welcomed President Macron as a friend of Lebanon, who loves and wants to help Lebanon, get it out of its crises, bring together divergent points of view: this is the way (genuine)friendship, benevolence, mediation, fraternity and love (are expressed). But in no case can there be for anyone, be it the French President or anyone else, the power to impose himself as guardian, governor, ruler or judge & executioner of Lebanon. To my knowledge, the Lebanese have never taken such a decision. This is why we hope that the conduct, style and substance will be completely revised.

To conclude on this point, we have welcomed the French initiative, and today, His Excellency the Lebanese President has extended (its implementation deadline). We always welcome the French initiative in a benevolent manner, and are ready for dialogue, cooperation, openness, discussion and debate with the French and with all the friends of Lebanon and all the political forces in Lebanon. But the procedures deployed during the past month, the arrogance that has been exercised, the trampling of truths and realities that has taken place must not be repeated, otherwise we will not achieve any results. We are ready (for dialogue) and want this initiative to succeed, we support its continuation, and we rely on it as others do, but I call for (a full) reconsideration of things at the level of its conduct, actions, understanding, analysis, conclusions, and even management and language used. Because there is nothing more important than respect. There is nothing more important than the dignity of people. What was violated two days ago (during Macron’s intervention) was national dignity. There are people who are angry with certain members of political factions, it is their right to be angry, but there is more important: whoever stands up and accuses everyone without distinction —institutions, parties, political forces, etc.—, in truth this undermines the national dignity and it is unacceptable. We know the French as well educated people, diplomats, who use a (tempered) language even if the content may be vehement, trying to wrap it with conciliatory words. I don’t understand what happened to them on Sunday night.

Regardless, for the sake of our country, we remain open (to dialogue). Currently, at this new stage, it is natural that after what has happened, the parliamentary groups must return to dialogue, consultation, meetings, and the French say that their initiative is still on the table, very well, now we have to see what are its new ideas, its new bases. I am not going to come up with ideas or solutions today, or state our terms and red lines, because it requires dialogue with our friends and allies, but we must not despair, we must cooperate. We are always committed to the cooperation of all, to mutual understanding of all, and to remain positive, to move from a bad situation to a good situation, and not from bad to worse. […]

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لم يكن ممكناً أن يمرّ كلام الرئيس الفرنسي أمانويل ماكرون، بما فيه من رواية لوقائع مفاوضات تأليف الحكومة التي تولاها علناً الرئيس المكلّف مصطفى أديب، وقادها فعلياً نادي رؤساء الحكومات السابقين كحزب حاكم جديد، من دون أن تقدّم المقاومة وحزب الله رواية موازية من موقع الشريك الكامل في صناعة الوقائع، والشاهد عن كثب وقرب لهذه الوقائع، ومن طالته سهام الاتهام وفقاً لرواية ماكرون. كما لم يكن ممكناً كلام ماكرون ألا يلقى تعليقاً وتفنيداً وتحليلاً من جانب حزب الله، طالما أن المعلوم للقاصي والداني، أنه كما كانت الأزمة التي تعصف بلبنان في شق رئيسيّ منها ثمرة قرار أميركي بإسقاط لبنان أملاً بأن يسقط حزب الله، وفقاً لكلام حرفي قاله ماكرون، فإن المبادرة الفرنسية التي قادها ماكرون تتركّز بنسبة كبيرة منها على فتح الطريق لمقاربة مختلفة للعلاقة مع حزب الله، وبالتالي يحتل حزب الله موقعاً موازياً لموقع ماكرون في الوقوف على طرفي ثنائية تمسك بخيوط المشهد، ما يعني أن مسار المقاربة للعلاقة الفرنسية بحزب الله يشكل المحور الحاكم لمسار المبادرة الفرنسيّة. وبعد سماع كلام ماكرون، لا بد من أن يخرج صوت حزب الله، لتكتمل صورة الثنائية وتتركز عناصر المعادلة.

بالتوازي مع هذا الاعتبار السياسي يحضر بقوة اعتبار أخلاقي ومعنوي وقيمي، ربما تزيد قيمته عن قيمة الاعتبار السياسي، فالحزب الذي يمثل المقاومة بكل قيمها وروح التضحية التي تمثلها، لن يصمت وقد تركزت عليه سهام ماكرون بصفته واحداً من أحزاب السلطة، ومن المتربّحين من المال العام، والمتعيّشين على المصالح الطائفية، والذين يفضلون مصالحهم على حساب مصالح شعبهم، وصولاً للدفع بحزب الله الأبعد بين أقرانه عن السلطة ومغانمها ومكاسبها وفسادها، لتصدُّر واجهة المستهدفين بالتهم السوداء، خصوصاً عندما يكون الاتهام بهذه اللغة الرعناء، وهذا التعالي المفعم بروح المستعمر، وعقل الوصاية، وما بين السطور من أستذة تدعو المقاومة للاختيار بين ما أسماه ماكرون بالخيار الأسوأ، وبين الديمقراطية، لمقاومة نال حزبها الرئيسي ديمقراطياً أعلى نسبة تصويت بين الأحزاب اللبنانية.

إطلالة الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله التي جاءت في سياق ممارسة هذا الحق وهذا الواجب، تضمنت من حيث الشكل تحجيماً لكلام ماكرون، حيث توزع كلام السيد نصرالله على ملفات عدة، من تعزية الكويت برحيل أميرها، إلى تنامي خطر داعش منذ جريمة داعش الإرهابية في بلدة كفتون، وصولاً للتوقف بلغة التحدي أمام مزاعم رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو حول وجود مستودعات صواريخ في منطقة الجناح قرب منشآت الغاز، فكانت دعوة فورية لوسائل الإعلام للملاقاة في المكان، إسقاطاً لمشروع تشويش على الإطلالة أراده نتنياهو قبل دقائق من موعدها، ليأتي الردّ على طريق يوم ساعر، انظروا إليها إنها في البحر تحترق، ليصل بهدوء إلى الملف الحكومي وفي قلبه كلام ماكرون، وبدا أنه يتعمّد عدم منح كلام ماكرون مكانة الصدارة من خلال الدخول الى كلامه من سردية تفصيلية لمسار العملية الحكومية والتعامل مع المبادرة الفرنسية من جميع الأطراف ومن ضمنها حزب الله، وثنائي حزب الله وحركة أمل، كاشفاً بالتفاصيل كيف تحوّلت الحكومة من مشروع إنقاذ قائم على تشارك الجميع خارج قضايا الخلاف الى مشروع انقلاب واستفراد بالحكم من خراج الدستور والأعراف لصالح جهة ذات لون واحد سياسي وطائفي، بقوة التهديد بالعقوبات والعصا الفرنسية، وبتغطية فرنسيّة تحت شعار السعي لإنجاح المبادرة، بلغة التهديد بالعواقب الوخيمة، وصولاً لحكومة تستعيد مسار حكومة 5 أيار 2008، والتآمر على المقاومة، لتصير الحكومة حكومة مهمة حدّدها الملك سلمان بنزع سلاح حزب الله، وليست حكومة المهمة التي تحدّث عنها ماكرون ووافق عليها الجميع. وهذا ما لا يمكن التساهل مع تكراره مرة أخرى، فلن تقبل حكومة الانقلاب ولن تقبل حكومة توقِّع من دون نقاش على شروط مجحفة لصندوق النقد الدولي، أو حكومة تبيع اصول الدولة، وحكومة تفرض ضرائب مرهقة على اللبنانيين، وكل ذلك كان يجري بشراكة فرنسا وتحت عباءة تهديداتها، متسائلاً هنا من الذي لجأ للتهديد والترويع، فرنسا ماكرون أم حزب الله؟

بكل هدوء، انتقل السيد إلى مناقشة كلام الرئيس الفرنسي، طارحاً السؤال المفتاح، هل القضايا التي سقطت عندها الحكومة كانت من ضمن المبادرة الفرنسية، أم هي قضايا وعناوين ابتدعها نادي رؤساء الحكومات السابقين وحدهم، مورداً جواباً رسمياً فرنسياً يؤكد أن ما طرحه نادي الرباعي جاء من خارج المبادرة، ليسأل إذا كيف يكون الجميع مسؤولاً؟ والسؤال الأهم، ما هي عهود المقاومة التي تنكّرتْ لها، أليس ما قام به حزب الله وحلفاؤه ورئيس الجمهورية هو عين التسهيل المطلوب، وهو عين الوفاء بالوعود والعهود، وللمقاومة سجل حافل بمصداقية الوفاء بالوعود والعهود؟ أما الدعوة للاختيار بين ما أسماه ماكرون بالخيار الأسوأ والديمقراطية، فجوابها واضح بالتمسك بحقوق الغالبية النيابية بمنع انقلاب بعض الأقلية النيابية لوضع اليد على البلد في ظلال المبادرة الفرنسية عكس المسار الديمقراطي، والمقاومة عنوان خاطئ لكل توصيفات ماكرون حول الفساد والمصالح، وعنوان خاطئ حول السلاح وتوظيفه في السياسة، والمقاومة لم تشهر سلاحها إلا رداً لعدوان أو مواجهة لاحتلال، أو تصدياً لإرهاب.

تفوق السيد نصرالله على ماكرون بالقيمة المضافة لا بفائض القوة، بقوة الحق لا بحق القوة، بالوقائع والحقائق ودقة التدقيق لا بالمزاعم والتوهّمات والتلفيق. تفوّق السيد نصرالله بحفظ الكرامة من دون حرب، وخاض ماكرون حرباً فقد فيها كرامته، فرض السيد نصاً تفسيرياً لمبادرة خانها صاحبها، ووضع آلية لإنقاذها من تخاذل كان يصاحبها. ورسم السيد سياق الصداقة خارج نفاق المواربة خشية ترهيب أو طلباً لترغيب، وخسر ماكرون فرصة صداقة لأنه تحت ترهيب حليف وترغيب مغانم حليف آخر، لكن رغم كل ذلك مد السيد يده لكلمة سواء، وأغلق باب الهدم وفتح مجدداً باباً واسعاً لخيار البناء، فانتصر السيد بكلام في قمة المسؤولية من موقع خارج المسؤولية الرسمية على كلام بعيد عن المسؤولية من أعلى مواقع المسؤولية الرسمية، ورمى الكرة في ملعب ماكرون قائلاً، لمن قالوا إن كلمة ماكرون تعادل كش ملك لحزب الله، إن اللعبة مفتوحة ولم تنته، والرمية التالية لرئيس فرنسا فإن أحسن لاقيناه وإن أساء فليلاقينا.

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Shia Duo Sources to Al-Manar: We Have Rescued Hariri Several Times from Ingesting His Allies’ Poison

September 22, 2020

أول ما شاهده في المطار رجال شرطة صادروا هواتفه.. كشف كواليس احتجاز “ابن  سلمان” لـ”سعد الحريري” | الوطن

In response to the statement of the former premier, MP Saad Hariri, about the cabinet formation, the Shia duo (Hezbollah and Amal Movement) sources told Al-Manar that the duo wonders how Hariri allows himself to set conditions for nominating the finance minister, wondering how he alleges that the French initiative includes this issue.

The sources added that the Shia duo do not want for Hariri to be poisoned, adding that that they have rescued him several times from his allies’ poison.

Hariri had stated that he decided to help the PM-designate Mustafa Adib by approving nominating a Shiite minister to hold the finance portfolio, considering that he has accepted again to ingest the poison.

The former prime ministers Fouad Siniora, Tammam Salam and Najib Miqati later issued a statement in which they pointed out that they are not committed to Hariri initiative pertaining the cabinet formation

Meanwhile, Al-Manar sources said that the cabinet formation process did not witness any progress, adding that President Michel Aoun has the right to propose whatever is suitable in this regard.

The Lebanese political system classifies the finance, interior, foreign affairs, and defense portfolios as sovereign and distributes them over the major sects. However, Taif Agreement grants the finance ministry to the Shia sect in order to have the third signature on most of the ministerial decrees.

The PM-designate Mustafa Adib and a group of former prime ministers reject granting the finance ministry to the Shia sect, while Hezbollah and Amal movement insist on the right to take the portfolio in line with the Constitution.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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فشل مبادرة عون لتفادي «طريق جهنم»: الانقلاب لن يمرّ

الأخبار

الثلاثاء 22 أيلول 2020

فشل مبادرة عون لتفادي «طريق جهنم»: الانقلاب لن يمرّ
(دالاتي ونهرا)

لم تنجح مساعي رئيس الجمهورية بإحداث خرق ما في الجمود الحكومي. ثنائي حزب الله وحركة امل متمسك بمطالبه. فالمشكلة، برأي الثنائي، لم تعد مجرد صراع على حقيبة المالية بل باتت معركة على الشراكة الوطنية وعلى وجهة الحكومة المقبلة، التي تريدها واشنطن، بواجهة رئيسي الحكومة السابقين سعد الحريري وفؤاد السنيورة، حكومة انقلابية على نتائج الانتخابات النيابية وعلى التمثيل الشعبي لفريق المقاومة. وهذا الانقلاب، يؤكد الثنائي، «لن يمرّ». وبسبب غياب أي تشاور محلي، وفي ظل إطفاء باريس محركات مبادرتها، أتى تحذير رئيس الجمهورية من «الذهاب إلى جهنم»وصلت المبادرة الفرنسية الى أفق مسدود، فخرج رئيس الجمهورية ميشال عون يوم أمس محاولاً إنعاشها من خلال اقتراح يدرك مسبقاً أنه ولد ميتاً. فقد عرض إلغاء التوزيع الطائفي للوزارات التي سُمّيت سيادية و«عدم تخصيصها لطوائف محددة، بل جعلها متاحة لكل الطوائف، فتكون القدرة على الإنجاز وليس الانتماء الطائفي هي المعيار في اختيار الوزراء»، واضعاً اقتراحه هذا في إطار السير نحو الدولة المدنية. طرح، كان من الممكن أن يكون موضع ترحيب من ثنائي حركة أمل وحزب الله، لو أنه لم يمس بجوهر مطلبهما الحصول على حقيبة المالية. بات واضحاً أن ثمة تصعيداً أميركياً مباشراً عبر العقوبات على الحزبين بدافع تضييق الحصار عليهما، وغير مباشر عبر رؤساء الحكومات السابقين، ولا سيما سعد الحريري وفؤاد السنيورة، فيما يجري تغليف هذه المسألة بمظهر طائفي، لإضعاف حجة التمسك بحقيبة المالية، التي يصرّ عليها الثنائي أكثر من أي وقت مضى من منطلق مواجهة الانقلاب الناعم على مضمون المبادرة الفرنسية ونتائج الانتخابات النيابية. غير أن ذلك لا يضع حزب الله في مواجهة عون، وفق المصادر، ولا يتناقض مع وثيقة التفاهم. على العكس، «يتفهم الحزب تمسك رئيس الجمهورية بهذه المبادرة انطلاقاً من أنه يراها الفرصة الأخيرة، فضلاً عن تفهّم حساسية الرئيس تجاه أي معركة يخوضها رئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري».

بدا واضحاً يوم أمس أن عون أراد لعب دور الحكم، مستبعداً أي حل قريب، لأن «كل الحلول المطروحة تمثّل غالباً ومغلوباً»، فانبرى يفند أداء الكتل والعقد التي تقف في وجه تأليف الحكومة. لكنه انتقد بوضوح الرئيس المكلف مصطفى أديب الذي لم يستطع أن يقدم خلال زيارته الرابعة الى قصر بعبدا أي تصور أو تشكيلة أو توزيع للحقائب أو الأسماء. وأشار بوضوح إلى أن «الرئيس المكلف لا يريد الأخذ برأي رؤساء الكتل في توزيع الحقائب وتسمية الوزراء ويطرح المداورة الشاملة، ويلتقي معه في هذا الموقف رؤساء حكومات سابقون»؛ مسجلاً له رفضه التأليف من دون توافق وطني. أما كتلتا التنمية والتحرير والوفاء للمقاومة، فتصرّان على «التمسك بوزارة المالية وتسمية الوزير وسائر وزراء الطائفة الشيعية». يسجل لهما وفق عون أيضا «التمسك بالمبادرة الفرنسية». بناءً على ما سبق، انتقد رئيس الجمهورية أداء الرئيس المكلف ورؤساء الحكومات السابقين، رافضاً «استبعاد الكتل النيابية عن عملية تأليف الحكومة، لأن هذه الكتل هي من سيمنح الثقة أو يحجبها في المجلس النيابي (…) كما لا يجوز فرض وزراء وحقائب من فريق على الآخرين، خصوصاً أنه لا يملك الأكثرية النيابية». من جهة أخرى، سئل عون عن الأصوات المطالبة بفك تفاهم مار مخايل، فأوضح أن «هذا الامر لم يجر، لكن ذلك لا يمنع من أن يبدي كل فريق رأيه عندما لا يكون هناك تفاهم حول موضوع ما».

يتفهم حزب الله تمسك رئيس الجمهورية بالمبادرة انطلاقاً من أنه يراها الفرصة الأخيرة

وعن طرح المداورة في الوزارات وخروج أصوات تطالب بإلغاء كل الأعراف المتعلقة بالطائفية بدءاً من رأس الهرم، أجاب: «في الوزارة وفي الحكم لا شيء تغير. هذا الطرح لا علاقة له بتأليف الحكومة. الأمر الأول قائم على ركائز ثابتة متفق عليها وعلى أطرافها، ولكن في موضوع تشكيل الحكومة، هناك دوماً تكليف لرئيس حكومة بتشكيلها. كل طائفة مهما كان حجمها لديها تمثيل بعدد محدد من الأشخاص في الحكومة، ويمكن تغيير هؤلاء، وهذا لا يستلزم تغييراً في الرؤساء. فعند وقوع أزمة كبيرة، من يمسك بالأمور هم رئيس الجمهورية ورئيس مجلس النواب ورئيس الحكومة». ورأى أنه في حال فشل المبادرة، «نحن ذاهبون إلى جهنم». لكن ما هو لافت في كلام رئيس الجمهورية، تمثل في ردّه عندما سُئل عما إذا كان سيطلب من أديب الاعتذار في حال وصلت الأمور الى حائط مسدود، بقوله إن الاعتذار لن يجدي نفعاً. فالطريقة التي «لجأنا اليها هي أننا لم نسأل الأكثرية ما الذي تريده، بل طلبنا أن يتم تقديم 3 أسماء من الطائفة السنية لنختار واحداً منها وسنعود الى الموضوع نفسه في حال الاعتذار»، ما يعني أن الاستشارات النيابية التي سبقت التكليف لم تعد ملزمة بل مجرد إجراء شكلي يناقض فحوى الدستور وما ينص عليه، وثمة عرف جديد مخالف للقوانين يتمثل في انتقاء الطائفة التي ينتمي اليها رئيس الحكومة رئيسها وفرضه على باقي الكتل الممثلة في البرلمان، مع إعطاء الكتل حق اختيار مرشح من أصل ثلاثة تنتقيهم الطائفة بنفسها.

التيار: ليتحمّل بري نتيجة صفقته الخاسرة

في غضون ذلك، ما زال موقف التيار الوطني الحر الذي عبّر عنه البيان الصادر عن هيئته السياسية أول من أمس هو نفسه. ووفقاً للمصادر، فإن «ممارسات رؤساء الحكومات السابقين غير مقبولة مثلها مثل أداء تيار المستقبل وسعيه لخلق أعراف جديدة من خلال تسمية الرئيس. أمعن الحريري في وقاحته، ينتهك الدستور عبر ادّعاء حق طائفي بتعيين رئيس الحكومة ثم يدّعي حقاً علمانياً مدنياً بتسمية الوزراء من دون استمزاج آراء الكتل النيابية». من ناحية أخرى، تقول المصادر إن «المشاركة في السلطة التنفيذية وما يسمّى التوقيع الثالث لا تكون عبر وزارة تخفي مطلباً بالمثالثة. فأساس خارطة الطريق التي طرحها التيار تركزت على معالجة الأزمة والانهيار خلال ثلاثة أشهر، ثم الانتقال الى تطوير النظام، لكن يبدو أن ثمة من استعجل القفز فوق الهم الأول. ومنذ البداية أيضاً، أخذ رئيس التيار»، على ما تضيف المصادر، «دور المسهّل عبر سحب نفسه من حلبة الصراع كي لا يتهم بالعرقلة، مع التشديد على أن هذا الموقف لا يعني مطلقاً المس بعمق العلاقة مع حزب الله في موضوع دعم المقاومة في وجه إسرائيل وفي وجه أي خطر يأتي من الخارج». لكن من الواضح أن «التيار غير معني بمساندة بري الذي استعجل لإسقاط حكومة كانت تنال انفتاحاً دولياً عليها، لإعادة الحريري – رأس الحربة في المعسكر المواجه. ولمّا فشلت هذه الصفقة عبر انسحاب الحريري منها ونتيجة خطأ من بري نفسه، صار المطلوب من التيار أن يكون قوة إسناد ناري لطرح مذهبي، فيما عندما تم تنفيذ ما افترضت حركة أمل أنها صفقة ناجحة، لم يلتفت رئيسها الى مصلحة التيار ولم يجر النقاش معه في خيار مماثل. مع ذلك، انسحبنا الى حدّ إلغاء الذات».

التيار: لسنا معنيين بمساندة بري الذي استعجل إسقاط حكومة كانت تنال انفتاحاً دولياً عليها


من ناحيته، يتصرف رئيس الحكومة المكلف وكأنه لا أزمة سببها انقلاب فريقه على حكومة الوحدة الوطنية المنصوص عليها في المبادرة الفرنسية، ولا كأنه يصرّ على تجاهل الكتل البرلمانية التي نصّبته رئيساً للحكومة، مُدّعياً حياديته ورغبته في تأليف حكومة اختصاصيين، فيما بات واضحاً أن عرّابَيه الحريري والسنيورة ينفذان عبره الأجندة الأميركية، التي تخطّت المعركة على حقيبة المال لتنتقل الى موضوع الشراكة ووجهة برنامج العمل الذي ستتبناه الحكومة المقبلة. فقد أصدر أديب بياناً يدعو فيه الى «تعاون جميع الأطراف من أجل تسهيل تشكيل حكومة مهمة محددة البرنامج، سبق أن تعهدت الأطراف بدعمها، مؤلفة من اختصاصيين»، مشيراً الى أن «لبنان لا يملك ترف إهدار الوقت». وأكد أنه لن يألو جهداً لـ«تحقيق هذا الهدف بالتعاون مع رئيس الجمهورية»، متمنياً على الجميع «العمل على إنجاح المبادرة الفرنسية فوراً»، علماً بأن مساعي فرنسية للحلحلة تمثلت في اقتراح تسمية الاليزية للوزير الشيعي، جرى رفضها من قبل بري، شأنها شأن طرح الحريري تسمية وزير المال المنتمي الى الطائفة الشيعية بنفسه. وعليه، كل طرقات الحل مقفلة بانتظار مبادرة جدّية لحل الأزمة، وسط إصرار حركة أمل وحزب الله على التمسك بمطالبهما. على أن ثمة ما يثير الاستغراب، وهو أداء رئيس حزب القوات اللبنانية سمير جعجع، الذي سارع فور طرح المبادرة الفرنسية الى رفضها عبر رفض تسمية مصطفى أديب لتأليف الحكومة. لكن ومنذ بروز عقد وزارة المالية، عاد جعجع ليطلق الموقف تلو الآخر لإعلان تأييده للمبادرة. رئيس القوات، المأزوم في الشارع وسياسياً الى جانب صرف النظر الأميركي والخليجي عنه، أصدر بياناً أمس ليعطي تعليماته بشأن طريقة تأليف الحكومة، مطمئناً «الشيعة» الى أنه لا استهداف لهم، وأنه لن يقبل «بإلغاء طائفة بأمها وأبيها». وأعلن جعجع تأييده «المداورة الكاملة، طوائف وأحزاباً، ونرفض كلياً أن تسمّي الكتل الحاكمة أيّ وزراء في الحكومة».

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مضت مهلة الأسبوعين المتفق عليها من ضمن المبادرة الفرنسية لتشكيل حكومة إصلاحية، من دون أن يضرب مسمار واحد في ورشة هذه الحكومة، فقد كان الرئيس المكلف يعدّ الأيام وفقاً للوصفة التي وضعها نادي رؤساء الحكومات السابقين الذي تحوّل الى حزب شمولي حاكم، يسمي منفرداً الرئيس المكلف ويمارس عليه الوصاية في تأليف الحكومة، ويقول لكل الآخرين من رئاسة الجمهورية الى الكتل النيابية كشركاء حكميين في تشكيل الحكومات، إما أن ترضخوا لهذه المشيئة الملكية الناشئة أو تتحملوا مسؤولية الفراغ، لأن لا رئيس حكومة سيسمّى ولا حكومة ستولد إلا وفقاً لهذه الشروط، وإلا تعرضت للطعن بميثاقيتها بحرمانها من تغطية الأغلبية السياسية في صفوف طائفتها، وكان الهدف هو أن يمضي الأسبوعان اللذان وضعهما الرئيس الفرنسي لولادة الحكومة الجديدة، من دون فعل أي شيء سوى إسقاط الأسماء المنتمية للحزب الحكام الشمولي الجديد، برئيسه سعد الحريري وأمينه العام فؤاد السنيورة ومشاركة نائب الرئيس نجيب ميقاتي وحفظ ماء وجه أمين السر تمام سلام.

لم تجر رياح التأليف كما تشتهي سفن الحزب الجديد، فرئيسه لم يطرح معادلته حول المداورة كشرط تأسيسي لكل حكومة جديدة في لقاءات قصر الصنوبر بحضور الرئيس الفرنسي، والمبادرة الفرنسية لم تتضمن اي إشارة لهذه المداورة، ومعلوم أنها كانت تتضمن الانتخابات النيابية المبكرة ولم يقم أحد من رافضي الانتخابات المبكرة بالتغاضي عن الأمر لأنه لا يريد مواجهة مع الراعي الفرنسي، والذي حصل يعرفه الجميع وهو أن المقترح تمّ رفضه وتمّت الاستجابة لهذا الرفض من الرئيس الفرنسي واتفق على تأجيل كل البنود السياسية لما بعد تشكيل الحكومة، وكانت الاستجابة تأكيداً لمصداقية الرئيس الفرنسي ومبادرته، وكان سيحدث اعلان موقف واضح لو عرضت المداورة وشمولها لوزارة المال فقط لو كلف الرئيس الحريري نفسه عناء قول ما كتبه في تغريدته أمس، بالصورة التي جعل منها ألفباء بناء الدولة. وكان الحريري وامانويل ماكرون سيسمعان دعوة صريحة لتطبيق المادة 95 التي لا تنص على عدم تخصيص وزارة لطائفة كما فعلت في دعوتها الصريحة لعدم تخصيص وظيفة لطائفة، وبقيت الوزارات والرئاسات مستثناة من نص صريح بعدم التخصيص كإجازة لعرف التخصيص، ضمن مفهوم النص الذي يتحدث صراحة عن حكومة التمثيل العادل للطوائف، وهو جوهر ما يقوم عليه مطلب التوقيع الثالث، حيث العدالة بين الطوائف الثلاث الكبرى تستدعي توقيعاً موازياً على القرارات لتوقيعي رئيسي الجمهورية والحكومة الممثلين لمكونين طائفيين رئيسيين يوازي كل منهما موقع المكون الطائفي الذي يطالب بحق التوقيع الثالث الذي تضمنه وزارة المال. وكانت حصيلة النقاش ستضمن إما تفاهماً على المبادرة أو عدم الوقوع في فخاخ كالتي نشأت عن السياسات السرية للحريري.

ظهر كل شيء من السر إلى العلن وظهرت طموحات الحزب الجديد بالتحوّل الى حزب شمولي حاكم وتوهم مكتبه السياسي الرباعي بأن موازين القوى التي صنعتها مخاوف الانهيار من جهة والخشية من العقوبات من جهة مقابلة، ستتيحان انتزاع الحكم الشمولي للبلد بلون طائفي سياسي أحادي يتزين بديكورات من سائر الطوائف يشارك الفرنسيون في اختيار صنفهم المسيحي، ويحتكر الحزب الحاكم الشمولي الصنف المسلم. وظهر عجز وقصور حسابات هذا المكتب السياسي الذي يعوزه الاحتراف وتنقصه الصدقية، وتعرض البلد لمأزق. فالفرنسي أوضح للجميع أن مبادرته محايدة تجاه طرح المداورة، التي يتبناها الحزب الجديد. وبدأ مبادرة لتقريب وجهات النظر حول المشهد الحكومي وفقاً لمبادرته، وقطع في الليلة الأولى خطوة عنوانها الموافقة على طلب ثنائي حركة أمل وحزب الله بحق المكوّن الذي يمثلانه بالتوقيع الثالث. وشغل محركاته لتعويض ما مضى وإنجاز المهمة التي منحت خمسة عشر يوماً تم إهدارها عمداً واستهتاراً بالآخرين، في غضون ثلاثة أيام لحسم آلية تسمية وزير المالية، بين الثنائي والحزب الجديد، وحسم سائر البنود الحكومية، إذا ذللت عقدة تسمية وزير المال، بحيث صار واضحاً أن المبادرة بدأت العدّ من اليوم لمهلتها الفعلية للنجاح.

حزب رؤساء الحكومات

من الثابت أن الموقع السابق للرئيس فؤاد السنيورة كرئيس لكتلة المستقبل النيابية قد تم تعويضه باختراع وتفعيل نادي رؤساء الحكومات السابقين كمنصة سياسية مستجدة يجري تحويلها تدريجاً الى حزب سياسي طائفي يتولى فرض عرف جديد ينيط به حقاً حصرياً بتسمية الرؤساء الذي يكلفون بتشكيل الحكومات والوصاية عليهم في عملية تأليف الحكومة بصورة تناقض استقلال موقع رئاسة الحكومة وتسقط عن الاستشارات النيابية صفتها الحرة وصولاً لمنح هذا الحزب دوراً في تشكيل الحزب الحاكم عبر بدعة جديدة عنوانها أن الرئيس المكلف الذي يسمّيه الحزب الجديد يقدم تشكيلة يعدها هذا الحزب بصورة سرية ومنفردة ودون شراكة اي من المكونات والكتل وتفرض على الجميع تحت شعار اقبلوها أو ارفضوها وتحملوا تعبات غياب حكومة تحظى بدعم مكوّن طائفي ينتمي إليه رئيس الحكومة.

المعركة التي فتحها الحزب الجديد الذي يتطلع ليصير الحزب الحاكم في بلد متعدد الطوائف لا يمكن ان يتولى حكمه حزب لون طائفي واحد، خارج أعراف الشراكة وخارج الصلاحيات الرئاسية التي تمنح النواب والكتل النيابية صلاحية تسمية حرة لرئيس الحكومة وتمنحهم حق مشاركته في ترتيب شكل الحكومة وتركيبتها وتمنح رئيس الجمهورية دور الشريك الكامل في عملية التأليف.

الواضح أن الحزب الجديد الذي يسلمه الرئيس السابق سعد الحريري دور المرجعية التي منحت له لمرة واحدة في اقتراح اسم رئيس الحكومة، ليحاول جعل التسمية عرفاً دائماً لحزبه الجديد ومعها عرف حق تشكيل الحكومة ومن خلالها حكم البلد، هو حزب أميركي سعودي شكل ابتداعه ضمانة طلبت من الحريري كشرط لإعادة تعويمه وقبول أوراق اعتماده من الحلف الأميركي السعودي الذي يثق بالسنيورة أكثر من الحريري منذ أيام الريتز واحتجاز الحريري.

مسار المواجهة حول وزارة المال سيقرر مصير المحاولة المبتكرة لاستيلاد أول محاولة لحكم الحزب الواحد للبنان وعلى اساس الأحادية الطائفية.

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ناصر قنديل

ثمّة إشارتان لافتتان في المشهد الحكومي لم تكونا جزءاً من المبادرة الفرنسية، وصارتا عنواناً للمسار الحكومي، ولا يفسّرهما سوى موقف الرئيس السابق للحكومة سعد الحريري، الأولى استحضار نادي رؤساء حكومات سابقين، لم يطلب أحد منه تسمية مرشح لرئاسة الحكومة لتتبناه الكتل النيابية، ومن خلفها المبادرة الفرنسية. فالكل تحدّث عن مطالبة الرئيس الحريري بتسمية من يمثله او يتبنى ترشيحه، مع ترك هوامش تفضيلية للكتل عبر لائحة مختصرة من ثلاثة مرشحين، بعدما تعذّر حصوله على تسمية مسيحية وازنة تحقق ميثاقية تسميته شخصياً كرئيس مكلف، رغم الجهود المضنية التي بذلها رئيس مجلس النوب نبيه بري مدعوماً من حزب الله لإقناع التيار الوطني الحر بالموافقة على تسمية الحريري، ولكن الحريري هو الذي قام بتجيير هذا الطلب الى حساب جديد فتحه هو باسم رؤساء حكومات سابقين وحولهم الى مؤسسة مرجعية، فلماذا فعل ذلك؟

الثانية إسقاط مشروع المداورة من خارج المبادرة الفرنسية التي أطلقها الرئيس الفرنسي امانويل ماكرون ولخصها بالنقاط التسع التي تلاها ووزعها على حضور لقاء قصر الصنوبر، بعد تسمية الرئيس المكلف مصطفى أديب لتهبط المداورة من المجهول، وتتحوّل الى مصدر للأزمة الحكومية الراهنة، ولم يعد خافياً أن الحريري هو الأب الشرعي لنظرية طرحها الرئيس فؤاد السنيورة لوضع اليد على وزارتي المال والطاقة تحت عنوان المداورة، انطلاقاً من إدراك أن العقوبات على وزير المال السابق المعاون السياسي لرئيس مجلس النواب، جاءت تتمة لنظرية المداورة أي تجريد ثنائي أمل وحزب الله من وزارة المال للضغط السياسي لإضعاف الثنائي، لكن الحريري له حسابات لا بد من معرفتها لفهم استحضاره لنادي رؤساء الحكومات، ولتبني نظرية السنيورة بالمداورة، والتغريد لها كهدف وطني كبير وجليل، رغم حصرها في وزارة المال، وتجاهل نص المادة 95 الذي لم يتناول لا تخصيص ولا عدم تخصيص وزارة بطائفة خلافاً لكلام الحريري، واكتفت بطلب تمثيل عادل للطوائف في الحكومة، والتمثيل العادل هو منطلق الثنائي للتمسك بما سُمّي بالتوقيع الثالث، بينما نصت المادة 95 صراحة على ما يدعو للتمسك بالمداورة في وظائف الفئة الأولى برفضها تخصيص طائفة بوظيفة، بينما القائم منذ الطائف هو العكس، خصوصاً في المراكز العليا في الدولة من قائد الجيش وحاكم المصرف الى مدراء الأمن الداخلي والأمن العام ومجلس الإنماء والإعمار والهيئة العليا للإغاثة وسواها من مراكز لا يكرّسها نص ولا عرف، ولم يتحدّث أحد عن مداورة فيها.

الحريري يعرف هشاشة تمثيل رؤساء الحكومات الذين منحهم الشراكة في إدارة الملف الحكومي، كما يعرف هشاشة المستند الدستوري والميثاقي والسياسي لإثارة المداورة لسحب وزارة المال من يد الثنائي كشرط لولادة الحكومة من جهة، كما يعرف ما يمكن أن ينتج عن شراكة رؤساء الحكومات في المسار الحكومي من تسمية الرئيس المكلف الى شروط التأليف، وعن إثارة ملف سحب وزارة المال من يد الثنائي، خلافاً لتقديرات شريكه في نادي الرؤساء السابقين للحكومة، الرئيس فؤاد السنيورة، فالنادي سينتج اسماً لمرشح لرئاسة الحكومة يحمله الحريري لأحد الشريكين، وهذا هو الحال مع تسمية الرئيس مصطفى أديب الذي عمل كمدير مكتب للرئيس نجيب ميقاتي، وسينتج عن الشراكة مع السنيورة وميقاتي خصوصاً مزيد من التصعيد على الثنائي والعهد وتعقيد لمسار الرئيس المكلف، لكنه سيظهر الحريري بمظهر رافض التفرّد ويفتح له خطوط التواصل التي يملكها شركاؤه مع كل من واشنطن والرياض، والمداورة بيقين الحريري في هذا الظرف ومن خارج المبادرة الفرنسية التي قرر الثنائي التعامل الإيجابي معها، بما تعنيه من استهداف لموقع الثنائي من بوابة وزارة المال التي لم يعاند الحريري تسلّمها من ممثل للثنائي مراراً، هي المدخل الذي يتيح له تفخيخ مسار نجاح الرئيس المكلف ودفعه نحو الفشل والاعتذار، من دون أن يحمل مسؤولية إفشاله، ومن دون أن يحمل مسؤولية إراقة دماء المبادرة الفرنسية، لكن النتيجة التي يأمل الحريري بلوغها هي فتح الطريق مجدداً لعودته لرئاسة الحكومة، بتسمية يتوقع قبول التيار الوطني الحر بها تحت ظلال إنقاذ المبادرة الفرنسية، وعدم تحمل مسؤولية إفشالها، وفتح حوار مع الثنائي عنوانه أنه في حكومة يرأسها كرئيس قوة سياسية لا تعارض مع تسمية سياسيين، ولا مع تسمية وزير مال من قبل الثنائي، لأن حجم ووزن رئيس الحكومة هو المسألة. وهذا الحوار الذي يفترض أن يسبق التسمية يتيح العودة للتفاهم الذي يمنحه تسمية الثنائي لاسمه، وفقاً لتقديرات الحريري.

الحريري الذي لم يبق اسماً من كنفه إلا وأجهض فرص وصولة للتسمية النهائية بعد استقالته منذ عام، ولم يهضم بعد دخول الرئيس حسان دياب نادي رؤساء الحكومات، لم يستسغ منح الفرصة لسواه للنجاح بقيادة حكومة إنقاذ قد تبدأ بصفتها انتقالية، ولا تلبث ان تتحول دائمة ويتحول رئيسها لمرشح دائم، والرئيس المكلف مصطفى أديب الحريص على مراجعة الحريري في كل شاردة وواردة، ينظر إليه بالريبة والشك من قبل الحريري إذا تمكن من عبور مخاض التأليف، مع دعم خارجي للإنقاذ، ويعتبره مشروعاً منافساً سواء لحساب طموحات شخصية أو لحساب مرجعية فرنسية أو لحساب الرئيس ميقاتي، رغم كل التطمينات التي يقدّمها أديب للحريري بالولاء، والحريري الذي لا تربطه علاقات يعتد بها مع الفرنسيين في عهد ماكرون، يفضل رئاسة الحكومة في ظلال تفاهم يضم مع باريس كلاً من واشنطن والرياض، وهو ما يعتقد ان فرنسا ستتجه نحوه عندما تتعثر تجربة أديب نحو البحث بمظلة سياسية داخلية وخارجية تسبق النسخة الثانية من المبادرة التي يتوق الحريري ليكون عنوانها.

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الثنائي الشيعي لن يوافق على حكومة أمر واقع

باريس أمام الاختبار: التوافق أو الانفجار السياسي

الثنائي الشيعي لن يوافق على حكومة أمر  واقع
(هيثم الموسوي)
ابراهيم الأمين

الإثنين 14 أيلول 2020

ابراهيم الأمين

التعقيدات التي تحيط بعملية تأليف الحكومة ليست مستغربة. وعدم الاستغراب مردّه الى طريقة عمل الرئيس المكلف مصطفى أديب ورعاته المباشرين، المحليين منهم والخارجيين. يكفي أن تستمع الى صغيرهم يقول «لا أحد يقدر على منع تشكيل الحكومة ومواجهة العالم»، حتى تفهم خلفية البحث في حجم الحكومة وتوزيع الحقائب وحتى اختيار الأسماء.

المشكلة لا تتصل حصراً بالحسابات الخاصة بالقوى المحلية، بل أيضاً بالعقلية التي تسيطر على عقل المستعمر الفرنسي الذي يبدو أنه «داخ» بالهمروجة التي رافقت زيارتي إيمانويل ماكرون للبنان. الكارثة تكتمل إذا ظن الفرنسيون أن مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي والضخ الإعلامي يعبّران عن حقيقة الوقائع الجديدة في لبنان. ولكن، من المهم هنا لفت الانتباه الى ان الفرنسيين ليسوا كلهم على هذا المنوال. كما في كل بلد وفي كل إدارة، هناك العاقل الذي يعرف المعطيات، ويعرف الفرق بين «الخبرية» و»المعلومة».
اليوم يقف الجميع عند سؤال وحيد: هل يحمل مصطفى أديب تشكيلته الى الرئيس ميشال عون على قاعدة «وَقِّعها بلا نقاش»؟
بعيداً عن كل كلام منمّق، فإن نادي رؤساء الحكومة السابقين اعتبر أن التفاهم على خروج لائحة المرشحين لرئاسة الحكومة من عنده، يعني أنه المرجعية الحاكمة لكل رئيس حكومة من الآن فصاعداً. لكنّ الاجتهاد هنا لا يتعلق بعرض أسماء المرشحين وحسب، بل بآلية العمل. ولذلك، يتصرف الرؤساء فؤاد السنيورة ونجيب ميقاتي وسعد الحريري على أساس أنهم أمام فرصة نادرة لفرض حكومة على تحالف التيار الوطني الحر وحزب الله وحركة أمل. وفي دفاتر السنيورة وميقاتي حسابات طويلة وعميقة ومعقدة مع عون ومع حزب الله. وهما، والى جانبهما الحريري، طوّقوا الرئيس المكلف منذ اليوم الاول، وأفهموه أنه أمام فرصة لم تتح لغيره، وهي أن يقوم بفرض شروطه (شروطهم)، وأن سيف الضغط الدولي على لبنان سيمنع الآخرين من الاعتراض. وصار هؤلاء يتحدثون عن العقوبات الأميركية أو الأوروبية على شخصيات لبنانية، باعتبارها السلاح الذي يوازن سلاح حزب الله، وأن الوصاية الفرنسية تعطّل الدور الإضافي الذي لعبه عون، بخلاف بقية رؤساء الجمهورية الذين وصلوا الى بعبدا بعد اتفاق الطائف. ولذلك فإن ميقاتي والسنيورة قالا مساء أمس إن اديب سيحمل تشكيلته الى عون ويضعها أمامه، وإن الأخير سيوقّعها، وإن كل ما يقدر عليه بري وباسيل وحزب الله هو الاعتراض ببيانات… و«انتهى الأمر».
المشكلة هنا لم تعد تخصّ الرئيس المكلف (ليس معروفاً من هو فريقه، من يساعده ومن يستشيره… إلخ)، بل تخص الفريق السياسي المحلي والخارجي الذي يفترض أن حكومته تمثل فرصة لتحقيق انقلاب سياسي كبير في البلاد، وأن لبنان ليس أمامه أي فرصة للنقاش. وإذا أراد الحصول على مساعدات مالية من العالم، فليس له الحق في التعامل مع تركيبة الحكومة كما كان يجري سابقاً.
أصحاب وجهة النظر هذه، قالوا إنه يمكن اللجوء الى تشكيلة حكومية من نوع جديد. يعني أن تكون حكومة مصغرة من 14 وزيراً، بحيث يفرض على بعض الوزراء تولّي أكثر من حقيبة. ويمكن عندها أن يحتفظ رئيس الحكومة نفسه بحقائب حساسة، ويوكل أمر إدارتها إلى مساعدين تقنيين. وتعمل هذه العقلية على أساس اختيار شخصيات قد لا تكون معروفة للناس. ويجري الحديث عن سبعة من الوزراء من الذين يعيشون في الخارج ويزورون لبنان في العطل والمناسبات الاجتماعية. والحجة أن هؤلاء لديهم سيرة ذاتية اختصاصية، وأنه سيكون من الصعب إخضاعهم لتأثيرات القوى المحلية، وأن يتم تحييد الحقائب الخدماتية الأبرز، مثل المالية والاتصالات والطاقة والأشغال العامة، بينما يجري اختيار «هامشيين» لوزارتَي الدفاع والخارجية بما يشير الى أنه ليس لديهما عمل جدي. كل ذلك على قاعدة أن الذين يتم اختيارهم، لن يمثّلوا استفزازاً للقوى الرئيسية في البلاد. وسيكون أمامهم جدول أعمال محصور بمهام الحكومة لا غير، وليس لهم أي طموحات سياسية أو صلات تدفعهم إلى أن يكونوا في حضن القوى السياسية.
الفرنسيون ليسوا بعيدين عن هذه المناخات. لكن الاشكالية بدأت مباشرة بعد تكليف أديب، إذ بينما تطلّب أمر تكليفه إجراء الاتصالات والمشاورات والحصول على موافقة القوى البارزة في المجلس النيابي، فإن العكس هو قاعدة العمل الآن. بمعنى أن من يقف خلف أديب يعتبر أنه لا داعي لمشاورة أحد في أمر التأليف، وأن من الأفضل أن تبتعد القوى السياسية عن الحكومة أصلاً. ولذلك، نصح الفريق ذاته الرئيس المكلف بعدم التشاور مع الآخرين. فقرر هو الاستجابة، وعقد اجتماعات كانت على شكل علاقات عامة، لكنه ليس مضطراً إلى محاورتهم في أمر الحكومة.
بعد مرور نحو عشرة أيام على تكليف أديب، توصل الرئيس عون ومعه الرئيس بري كما حزب الله وباسيل الى نتيجة مفادها أن هناك من يريد فرض حكومة أمر واقع، وينتزع موافقتهم من دون نقاش. وخشية الوصول الى صدام مباشر، بعث هؤلاء برسائل متنوعة الى الرئيس المكلف، لكن الأخير لم يكن على الخط. وفجأة خرجت العقوبات الاميركية على الوزيرين السابقين علي حسن خليل ويوسف فنيانوس، مع تهديد صريح بوضع آخرين مقرّبين من الرئيس عون على لائحة العقوبات. وتبين أن نقاشاً حال دون وضع اسم الوزير السابق سليم جريصاتي على اللائحة، وجرى التعامل مع هذه الخطوة على أنها رسالة الى هذه القوى، وأن عليها التعجيل في تأليف الحكومة وإلا فالعقوبات المباشرة.
الرئيس عون، كما الرئيس بري وحزب الله، وجدوا أن من المناسب لفت انتباه الجهة التي تلعب دور الوصاية الى أن هناك مشكلة قد تتفاقم وقد تعرقل كل المبادرة الفرنسية. وبناءً عليه، كانت زيارة اللواء عباس ابراهيم الى باريس، وهو يمكن أن يزورها مجدداً خلال الايام القليلة المقبلة، بعدما انتقل إليها أمس النائب السابق وليد جنبلاط، وحيث يقيم هناك كثيرون من المتعاطين بالشأن اللبناني من لبنانيين وغير لبنانيين أيضاً.
زيارة إبراهيم لباريس كان هدفها إبلاغ الجانب الفرنسي، من خلال قناة رئيس المخابرات الخارجية برناردر إيميه، أن هناك مشكلة قائمة، وأنها قد تتحول الى مشكلة أكبر إذا لم يبادر الفرنسيون الى تدارك الأمر. وبحسب ما هو متداول، فإن نتيجة الزيارة الاولى كانت في تولي الفرنسيين التواصل مباشرة مع القوى المحتجة، ومحاولة الوقوف على رأيها لمناقشته مع أديب نفسه، وسرت معلومة مفادها أن باريس «طلبت من أديب التريث».
عملياً، الفرنسيون كانوا يهتمون بمعرفة تفاصيل كثيرة. ويبدو أنهم سمعوا كلاماً مباشراً يتعلق بأصل المبادرة ودورهم في هذه المرحلة، ويمكن تلخيص الرسالة الواضحة لهم بالآتي:
أولاً: لقد قررتم المبادرة في لبنان بعدم ممانعة أميركية، وحيادية سلبية لعواصم عربية أساسية. لكنكم دخلتم بيروت هذه المرة بتسهيلات من قوى لبنانية أساسية وبدعم عواصم إقليمية. وإذا كنتم تشعرون بأنه يمكنكم القيام بأمر ما وحدكم، من دون الاخذ بالاعتبار الحسابات الجديدة في لبنان والمنطقة، فهذا يهدّد ليس مبادرتكم فحسب، بل مجمل دوركم، ومن المفيد الانتباه الى أن ما تقومون به في لبنان اليوم، قد يمثل آخر فرصة لكم في المنطقة.
ثانياً: إن التسهيلات التي حصلتم عليها بشأن البرنامج الزمني وبشأن اختياركم لرئيس الحكومة المكلف، كان من باب الايجابية، لكن ذلك لا يعني أن لديكم التفويض للقيام بكل ما ترونه مناسباً لكم أو لمصلحة حلفاء لكم في لبنان على حساب الآخرين. وبالتالي، فإن الإجماع الذي حصل حول المبادرة وحول التكليف سيسقط نهائياً، وسيكون مكانه الانقسام الذي يعكس حقيقة الوضع على الارض، لا الذي يتخيله بعض القائمين على «حركات صبيانية» في بيروت.

نادي رؤساء الحكومة يمنح نفسه شرعية دستورية وبرلمانية وسياسية ويتصرف كما لو أن الحكم بيده وحده


ثالثاً: إن التهديد بالعقوبات الاميركية أو الفرنسية أو الاوروبية، لا يمكن أن يكون عاملاً حاسماً بتولي الدور السياسي. وإذا كانت العقوبات بسبب دعم الارهاب، فهذا أمر لن يكون له أي تأثير على مواقف القوى الاساسية التي تسعى فرنسا للتفاهم معها. أما إذا كان على أساس الفساد ويطال من تورط فعلياً في الفساد، فهذا أمر سيكون محل ثناء وشكر، لأنه يساعد اللبنانيين حيث فشل قضاؤهم في تحقيق العدالة.
رابعاً: إن الوضع لا يحتمل المداراة أو تدوير الزوايا، وإن الوصول الى تفاهمات واضحة بشأن المرحلة المقبلة لا يتم من خلال الطريقة المعتمدة في تأليف الحكومة. فهذا الأداء سيؤثر بقوة على المصالح الفرنسية، وليس حصراً على المبادرة الفرنسية. وبالتالي، فإن الاعتقاد بأنه يمكن فرض حكومة على رئيس الجمهورية أو على المجلس النيابي ومن ثم السعي الى تجاوز رئاسة الجمهورية وفق الطريقة التي اعتمدت مع الرئيس السابق إميل لحود، أو السعي الى انتزاع صلاحيات استثنائية من المجلس النيابي رغماً عنه، كل ذلك يحتاج الى أكثر من انقلاب سياسي في البلاد، وعلى فرنسا الاستعداد لتحمل مسؤولية مثل هذه الامور.

المفاجأة والمبادرة

الجانب الفرنسي يعلم جيداً الكثير من هذه المعطيات. وهو يدرك أن الأمر لا يتعلق بشكليات مثل التي اقترحها أحدهم، بأن يعقد أديب اجتماعات سريعة مع ممثلي القوى كافة، وخصوصاً باسيل وحركة أمل وحزب الله، ثم يعود ويطرح تشكيلته، بل إن الأمر يتعلق بالدور الحقيقي للحكومة المقبلة. وإن فكرة تمرير تشكيلة من الاسماء التي يراد إقناع اللبنانيين بأنها مستقلة عن القوى السياسية لكنها مختارة من قبل عواصم الاستعمار، سيحوّل هؤلاء الى عملاء في نظر قسم كبير من الناس، وسيجري التعامل معهم على هذا الاساس. وبالتالي، فإن المجلس النيابي لن يكون حيادياً كما جرت عليه العادة يوم كان لغالبية قواه تمثيلهم المباشر داخل الحكومة.
حتى الآن، لا يظهر أن هناك عنجر ودمشق والزبداني، لكن قد نصل الى هذه المرحلة. عندما ينقل زوار باريس معلومات فيها شيء من التناقض بين ما يقوله مسؤولو المخابرات الخارجية وما يقوله مَن يُعرف بمسؤول ملف لبنان في الرئاسة الفرنسية وما يقوله السفير في بيروت، والذي يريد إنجازاً ما قبل مغادرته الى مكان عمل آخر، فإن هذه التناقضات قد لا تكون واقعية بقدر ما تمثل الدور الفرنسي غير المكتمل إزاء الازمة اللبنانية. الأكيد أن اللبنانيين صاروا ينقلون كل ساعة روايات متعارضة حول موقف باريس من هذه القضية أو تلك. طبعاً لن يمر وقت طويل قبل أن يصبح عندنا مَن هم مِن «جماعة السفارة» أو «جماعة إيميه» أو «جماعة إيمانويل بون»، هذا عدا عن لبنانيين يعيشون في باريس أو سبق لهم أن عاشوا طويلاً في باريس، ويعرضون خدماتهم على السياسيين اللبنانيين لأجل ترتيب لقاءات أو اتصالات لهم في العاصمة الفرنسية… إنها سوق رائجة بقوة عند اللبنانيين، ومن المفيد التعرف على النسخة الاوروبية منها الآن.
المهم أن الساعات المقبلة ستفرض على الفرنسيين تحمل المسؤولية عن سياق المبادرة التي يقودونها. إما حكومة تحظى بإجماع كبير كما هي حال تكليف رئيسها، وبالتالي ستكون هناك مشاركة كاملة في عملية التأليف، أو حكومة أمر واقع لا تتمثل فيها قوى أساسية لها تمثيلها الطائفي ولها موقعها السياسي الكبير ايضاً.

تواصل الفرنسيون مع القوى المحتجّة على مسار التأليف ثم طلبوا من أديب التريث


من بين الامور التي جرت مناقشتها في اليومين الماضيين، بما في ذلك مع الفرنسيين، أن المطلب الذي يرفعه حزب الله وحركة أمل بشأن تسمية وزير المالية، أخذ بُعداً جديداً بَعد العقوبات الاميركية، ويبدو أن الموقف سيكون أكثر تشدداً حيال فكرة أن تتم تسمية وزير بالنيابة عنهما. وبمعزل عن خلفية الموقف لدى الطرفين، وعن كل النقاش الدائر في البلاد، فمن المفيد معرفة واقع أن الثنائي الشيعي يتصرف على أساس أنه «مستهدف هذه المرة بأكثر من السابق، وأن الهدف كان ولا يزال هو رأس المقاومة»، وهو ما دفع بمطلعين الى الكشف عن احتمال من اثنين:
إما أن يرفض الرئيس عون تشكيلة أديب المفروضة وبالتالي لا يكون التأليف، وساعتها يبرر عون والتيار الوطني موقفهما بعدم الرغبة بالمشاركة في حكومة يرفضها الثنائي الشيعي، وإما أن يقبل عون بالتشكيلة رامياً بالمشكلة الى حضن المجلس النيابي، وفي هذه الحالة، يفكر الثنائي في مقاطعة الجلسة النيابية، فلا يترأس الرئيس بري جلسة مناقشة البيان الوزاري، ولا يحضر نواب حركة أمل وحزب الله الجلسة.
وفي كل حالة من الحالتين، سيكون الفرنسيون أمام اختبار لبنان الجديد، لا لبنان الكبير الذي أنتجوه على شاكلة الذين يشكون منهم اليوم، وحيث لا أمل بالقيام من جديد!

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أسئلة شديدة الملوحة تفرضها العقوبات الأميركيّة

ناصر قنديل

السذج والأغبياء والعملاء يلتقون في هذه الأيام عند تبسيط العقوبات الأميركية التي استهدفت عبر الوزيرين السابقين علي حسن خليل ويوسف فنيانوس، الكثير الكثير أبعد منهما، ويرغبون بتصويرها بأحد عنوانَيْ الفساد أو العلاقة مع حزب الله، أو كليهما. فالسؤال الأول حول الفساد لو أخذنا بما ورد في القرار الأميركي، لماذا لم يتضمن القرار الأميركي أي وثيقة أو اي أرقام أو اي مراجع طالما أنه معني بإثبات مصداقيته، ولا توّجته مطالعة معللة للجهات اللبنانية القضائية والمصرفية تبرر القرار ومندرجاته، طالما أننا نتحدث عن عقوبات، والعقوبات إجراء قضائي معلل. والسؤال الثاني هو، لو سلمنا جدلاً كما يرغب الفرحون بالقرار والمطبّلون للقرار الأميركي، ماذا لو كانت تهمة الفساد غير مقرونة بالتهمة الثانية هل كانت العقوبات لتصدر أصلاً، وكل ما فيها بما في ذلك تهمة الفساد مربوطة بالتهمة الثانية أي العلاقة بحزب الله، مرة بتلقي الأموال منه ومرة بتسهيل حصوله على الأموال، بصورة تنسف واحدة الأخرى، ما يعني بلا مواربة أن العقوبات سياسية، فهل هي فعلاً تتصل بتهمة العلاقة بحزب الله؟

الأغبياء سيقولون نعم إنها عقوبات على الفساد، أما العملاء فسيقولون بلغة أقوى إنها عقوبات على العلاقة بحزب الله، ويبقى للسذج أن يقولوا إنه انتقام عجز عنه القضاء اللبناني لحساب الناس التي فقدت ودائعها وتفقد مقومات الحياة في ظل فئة حاكمة ينتمي المعاقبون إليها، لكن كل هؤلاء يغمسون خارج الصحن، فالسؤال الشديد الملوحة، الذي سيبقى طعمه في حلوقنا وحلوق شعوب كثيرة، ماذا عن عقوبات مماثلة على شخصيات روسية لها ملف موحّد عنوانه، المقربون من الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين من رجال الأعمال الروس، ومثلها شخصيات صينية لها ملف عنوانه، رجال التقنيات الحديثة، وشخصيات إيرانية لها ملف عنوانه، رجال البحث العلمي، وهي ملفات تتولى المخابرات الأميركية إعدادها بالتعاون مع شخصيات وأطراف محلية في كل بلد تنصاع للسياسات الأميركية، وتنتظر عائدات التدخل الأميركي بشكله الجديد بدلاً من الحروب، لإعادة تشكيل السلطات في بلاد العالم، لتتولى وضعها في الحكم؟

جرّب الأميركيون الحروب كطريقة لإعادة تشكيل السلطات في العراق وأفغانستان، فقتلوا القيادات وحلّوا الجيوش والأجهزة الأمنية، واحتلوا البلاد وفرضوا حكاماً عليها بقوة الاحتلال، واكتشفوا سرعة تفكك ما قاموا ببنائه، وأكلافه العالية، وتحلل المجتمعات وولادة أعباء من نوع جديد تفوق قدرة الإدارات الأميركية على تولي إدارتها، وجرب الأميركيون بعدها ما سُمّي بالحروب الناعمة وما تتضمنه من ثورات وفتن وحروب أهلية، ولم تكن النتيجة مختلفة، بين فشل في تحقيق الأهداف وانقلاب الأوضاع إلى عكس الأهداف كحال سورية، او استيلاد أزمات ومحن وفتن وفوضى تصعب إدارة تداعياتها، كحال ليبيا، وهم اليوم، يتخذون لبنان نموذجاً لاختبار بديل جديد، بمثل ما كانت سورية نموذج اختبار الحرب الناعمة، وبمثل ما كان العراق نموذج اختبار الحرب الخشنة، فإن لبنان نموذج لاختبار الحرب البديلة.

الحرب الجديدة، التي لها عنوان الفساد والعلاقة بحزب الله في لبنان، لها عناوين أخرى في روسيا والصين وإيران وبلاد العالم التي ستكون أوروبا لاحقاً ميداناً لها عندما تعتمد التجربة كنموذج قابل للتكرار، هي حرب إعادة تشكيل السلطات في بلاد العالم وفق دفتر الشروط الأميركي، تمهيداً لمطالبتها باتخاذ القرارات التي تلبي المطالب والمصالح الأميركية، فتحت سيف العقوبات والإغراء بجزرة المعونات يُعاد تشكيل المشهد الإعلامي الذي تتصدّره المؤسسات التلفزيونيّة، والتي يتسيّدها رجال أعمال، يقيمون ألف حساب للعقوبات، ومثلهم رجال الأعمال الطامحون للسياسة، والجمعيات الأهلية المنغمسة في السياسة، ثم تتكفل العقوبات برسم معايير صارمة لمن يسمح بتوليهم مسؤوليّة الشأن العام، فتصل الدولة، أي دولة، بعد مسار شبيه بما يجري في لبنان، إلى معادلة قوامها أن يضع كل متطلع لممارسة الشأن العام، إلى كيف لا يكون على لائحة العقوبات، فهل يعقل أن يتولى الرئاسة من يرد اسمه في لائحة عقوبات الدولة الأعظم في العالم ويتعرّض بسببه بلده للحصار الذي يتحوّل تجويعاً، وكيف تسلم الدولة وزاراتها لمن سيقاطعهم الأميركي لأنهم على لوائح عقوباته، وتدريجياً سيتطبّع المشهد السياسي مع الخضوع، ويستسلم للترويض، بين إعلام ونيابة ووزارة ورئاسة وقادة عسكريين وأمنيين وقضاة، نالوا بركة الاستبعاد عن لواح العقوبات، ليس هذا شأن خاص بلبنان، بل استراتيجية حرب بديلة تُختبر في لبنان.

السؤال الشديد الملوحة الأهم هو ماذا بعد، بعد سيقول الأميركيون للطبقة السياسية التي يتولى الإعلام حمايتها بقوة السيف المسلط على الرؤوس واليد المدودة إلى الجيوب ذاتها، هذا هو دفتر الشروط، وهو لبنانياً، لا يخص علي حسن خليل ولا يوسف فنيانوس، بل كل اللبنانيين، ودفتر الشروط اللبناني أميركياً، يبدأ بترسيم البحر وفق المصالح الأميركية، وينتهي بتوطين اللاجئين الفلسطينيين والنازحين السوريين، مروراً بالتطبيع وفقاً للوصفة الإماراتيّة، والإمارات كانت بالمناسبة النموذج السري لاختبار سلاح الحرب الجديدة وقد أثبت فعاليته. وها هي الثمار تنضج أمامنا، فهل ينتبه السذج والأغبياء لما نحن مقبلون عليه، ويرتدع العملاء عن التذاكي، ولتكن الإجابة مباشرة على الأهداف وليس على الوسائل؟

US Sanctions Policy Will Fail in Lebanon

Pompeo Comments on U.S. Sanctions on Khalil, Fenianos — Naharnet

Hezbollah Voices Solidarity with Khalil, Finianos

Source: Hezbollah Media Relations (Translated by Al-Manar English Website)

Hezbollah flag

Hezbollah issued Wednesday a statement in which it responded to the decision taken by the US Treasury Department to impose sanctions on the two former ministers Ali Hasan Khalil and Youssef Finianos, stressing that “it is a badge of honor for the two dear friends and all who are accused by the US administration of being resistant”.

Hezbollah stressed that the US administration is a terrorist authority that spreads havoc and destruction all over the world and sponsors the Zionist and takfiri terror in the Middle East, adding, accordingly, it does not have the right to label the resistant and honorable as terrorist.

“All what is issued by the US administration is denounced and rejected.”

Hezbollah emphasized that the US sanctions policy won’t be able to achieve its targets in Lebanon, nor will it manage to subdue the Lebanese and oblige them to relinquish their sovereign and national rights, adding, on the contrary, it will reinforce their commitment to their free decision, complete sovereignty and national dignity.

“The stances taken by the Amal Movement and Al-Marada leader confirm this fact.”

Hezbollah voiced solidarity with and support to Khalil and Finianos, hailing their firm and sacrificial stances for the sake of defending Lebanon as well as its freedom and dignity.

President Aoun Asks Foreign Minister to Review Circumstances of US Decision to Sanction Former Ministers Khalil, Finianos 

Lebanese President Michel Aoun addressing the nation on Independence Day

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Charbel Wehbe, to make necessary contacts with the United States embassy in Beirut and the Lebanese embassy in Washington, in order to know about the circumstances that prompted the US Treasury to impose sanctions on former ministers, MP Ali Hassan Khalil and lawyer Youssef Finianos, in order to proceed in what is convenient.

US Treasury issued on Tuesday a decision which sanctions the two former ministers, MP Ali Hassan Khalil and Youssef Finianos, over their support to Hezbollah.

Amal Movement, Al-Marada Chief and Hezbollah issued statements that denounce the US decision, stressing that the sanctions policy will fail in Lebanon.

Source: Al-Manar English Website and NNA

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The process for naming Mostafa Adib as PM carries great weight: Lebanese analyst

By Mohamamd mazhari

September 1, 2020 – 23:58

TEHRAN – Faysal Abdelsater, a Lebanese analyst, is of the opinion that the steps for naming Mostafa Adib as a man who will head the Lebanese government carries an important message as “it has the endorsement of considerable majority in the Lebanese parliament.”

On August 31, the Future Movement, Hezbollah, Amal Movement, and the Free Patriotic Movement, as well as Progressive Socialist Party in Lebanon, all agreed to name Mustafa Adib as the next prime minister of Lebanon, succeeding Hassan Diab. 

Adib, the former Lebanese ambassador to Germany, holds a doctorate in political science, and he worked as director of the office of former Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

Adib, who was tasked on Monday to form a new government, is an unknown figure among the Lebanese, facing an almost impossible task of bringing about political change and making urgent reforms to save the country from an unprecedented crisis.

Abdelsater tells the Tehran Times that even though the prime-minister designate enjoys a strong support by the political factions in the parliament, “we are not going through a structural or fundamental change in Lebanese politics.” 

This is the text of the interview:

Q: What are the latest developments regarding the naming of a new prime minister in Lebanon?

A: Of course, the Lebanese were able to conduct binding parliamentary consultations that were held in Baabda Palace ( the official residence of the president of Lebanon), and the legislators from rival blocs proposed the name of the person they wanted to head the upcoming Lebanese government in order to send it to President Michel Aoun. 

Therefore, the prime minister-designate, Ambassador Dr. Mustafa Adib, won ninety votes out of 128 votes in the Parliament, while just a few voices went to the former Lebanese ambassador to the United Nations, Nawaf Salam, who was named by the Lebanese Forces bloc headed by Samir Geagea. 

In any case, this result carry important implications as it has the endorsement of a considerable majority in the Lebanese Parliament. According to the prime minister-designate, what is important now is that things should be translated into action and not remain just as promises.

The Lebanese are eager to get out of the problems that they are facing at all levels, especially in the economic and financial ones.

Q: Do you see a strong consensus between Lebanon’s main political currents on naming the next head of government?

A: Of course, this consensus would not have been possible, and the result would not have emerged today if there were not proactive consultations and initiatives undertaken by French President Emmanuel Macron. 

According to some reports, Macron established a series of contacts, perhaps with certain countries in the European Union and even Iran. So, this designation did not come out of anywhere but rather was the result of France’s open consultations and collaborations with the Lebanese parties.

Q: Don’t you think that the next government will be like the Hassan Diab government, who resigned after the Beirut blast on August 4?

A: No. The situation seems different because the former Prime Minister Hassan Diab did not enjoy Sunni support for his government, as Lebanese Sunni leaders such as Saad Hariri and the rest of the other figures who have the popular weight in the Sunni community did not support Hassan Diab. 

Therefore, the matter is different here because the size of the consensus that Ambassador Dr. Mustafa Adib could gain must be translated into the cooperation and support of all parties. They should not be satisfied with naming the prime minister without addressing his chances of forming the government as soon as possible. The government must be consistent and able to provide the required solutions to contain the harsh conditions the Lebanese people are experiencing.

Q: Could you talk more about the French role in naming Mustafa Adib?

A: According to my information, France had a pivotal role in naming Adib, and it was the one who chose this name and recommended it to the Lebanese parties to be studied in Parliament. This is the joint cooperation that took place as a result of the French initiative after President Macron’s visit to Lebanon following the August 4 explosion in Beirut port.

Q: Is it acceptable for another country to get involved in naming the prime minister of Lebanon?

A: Unfortunately, our experiences have shown that small countries like Lebanon are forming their governments, and choosing their prime ministers are subject to well-known foreign interference. Throughout the Syrian presence in Lebanon, Syria had the final say. Before that, Egypt had a role in this regard, then Saudi Arabia began to intervene in Lebanon, and also Iran is a key player in the Lebanese political scene. 

Altogether, the issue is not about who moves and takes the initiative, and perhaps this matter is not acceptable to some countries, but people have become accustomed to it in Lebanon. I do not think that it makes a problem as long as the issue remains in a Lebanese framework.

Q: What are the repercussions and implications of the Beirut blast for Lebanon’s political future?

A:The Beirut port explosion on August 4 may have been a disaster that no one expected in Lebanon, and until now, investigations have not produced anything about this issue.

The constant propaganda by some Lebanese and Arab media outlets still wants to convey this idea that this explosion would not have happened if there were no missiles and weapons of Hezbollah inside the port, and this is what the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, has repeatedly denied. But, some mercenaries in the media insist on such lies.

Of course, the great disaster that occurred in Beirut port requires concerted efforts at all levels to restore the confidence and vitality of the country, and this also needs international and regional support from all countries that want to stand by Lebanon.

 So far, we have only seen food aid and some medical aid, but this is not enough to change the catastrophic reality in Lebanon. What is required is transparent international support at financial level and reconstruction in the affected areas. 

The most important demands are to stop the U.S. sanctions that have been harmful to many sectors inside Lebanon. This process affects the nature of economic trends at the political level in Lebanon; therefore, this is completely unacceptable.

Q: Do you expect fundamental changes in Lebanon’s political structure?

A: I do not think that this is the time when we talk about such a matter, especially since the people have been greatly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, and there are great disputes that prevented forming a consensus of visions in Lebanon, but there are still attempts to have some reforms if they are suggested through the framework of the constitution. Disseminating slogans and making speeches may not be helpful at this time.

 Therefore, we are not going through a structural or fundamental change in Lebanese politics. Rather, we are facing a different scene and perhaps certain changes, but there will be no essential change in the foreseeable future.

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نهاية فترة السماح وسقوط «حكومة المستقلّين»

ناصر قنديل

يعرف كل متابع لشؤون لبنان والمنطقة أن الحديث عن حياد في السياسة هرطقة، فأصل السياسة التزام. وعندما يكون الحديث عن أعلى هيئات ممارسة السياسة في أي دولة هي الحكومة، يكون أعضاؤها حكماً هم الأقل حيادية بين مواطنيهم، وقد اجتمعوا في حكومة على خط سياسي يتبدى اقوالاً تشكل الرابط الذي جاء بهم إلى الحكم لترجمته أفعالاً، فكيف ببلد كلبنان واقف على فالق الزلازل الإقليمي والدولي، وجاءت حكومته الأخيرة بعد أحداث عاصفة ونتاج تفاقم أزمته الاقتصادية والمالية، ولذلك كان مستغرباً أن تصرّ الحكومة على أنها حكومة مستقلين، إلا بقدر ما كان ذلك انتزاعاً لكذبة حكومة المستقلين من أصحابها الأصليين الذين طرحوها، بقصد المجيء بحكومة مناوئة للمقاومة، يطلقون عليها تسمية المستقلين نفاقاً، وللعب بعقول وقلوب الناس التي سئمت السياسة والسياسيين، فلعبت الحكومة لعبة خصومها الذين أنكروا عليها هذه الصفة منذ البداية، لأنها استولت على منتج فكري تعود ملكية حقوق استعماله لهم حصراً.

تحت عنوان حكومة المستقلين تشكل مركب الحكومة الجديدة قبل سبعة شهور، وفتح الباب لممثلين بنصف لون عن الأطراف الممثلة في الحكومة والداعمة لها، ومعهم لممثلي اللون الرمادي العربي والدولي الراغب باختبار فرص الفصل بين مساعي تعافي لبنان اقتصادياً والمواجهة التي تخوضها إدارة الرئيس الأميركي مع إيران وحزب الله، وكان لهذه الدعوة عراب هو الدبلوماسي الأميركي السابق جيفري فيلتمان، الذي أطلق دعوته من منبر الكونغرس، الذي قال أمامه إن لبنان ساحة تنافس استراتيجي مع روسيا والصين من جهة، وإن لبنان ساحة مواجهة مع حزب الله من جهة موازية، ليصل إلى الدعوة للفصل بين المسارين، بعدم التخلي عن الدعم المالي والاقتصادي للبنان ضمن شروط إصلاحيّة نص عليها مؤتمر سيدر كي لا يسيطر المنافسون عليه، والاستثمار السياسي على الأزمة لإضعاف حلفاء حزب الله وفي مقدّمتهم العهد الرئاسي للرئيس ميشال عون والتيار الوطني الحر ورئيسه النائب جبران باسيل، كي ينجح توظيف الأزمة في خدمة خيار المواجهة، وكان لهذه الدعوة ذاتها ناطق رسمي هو وزير المالية الفرنسية برونو لومير الذي وقف متحدثاً بلسان حكومته في اجتماع وزراء مالية دول قمة العشرين الافتراضي مطلع العام، داعياً لفصل مساعي تعافي لبنان عن المواجهة الأميركية مع إيران.

خلال شهور مضت كانت الحكومة تعيش مناخ التفاؤل بنجاح فرضيات فيلتمان ولومير، وكان من يلتقي الوزراء المتمسكين بالحديث عن حكومة مستقلين والفرحين بها، يسمع منهم تمسكهم بالحكومة والدفاع الشرس عنها، وفي مقدمتهم الوزير المستقيل ناصيف حتي، الذي لم يكن قد اكتشف يومها، قبل أسابيع قليلة، أن البلد بحاجة لعقول خلاقة ونيات صادقة لم يجدها في الحكومة، بل وجد فيها أرباب عمل عديدين بدلاً من رب عمل واحد هو لبنان، وليس بعيداً وجود وزراء آخرين يكتشفون فجأة اليوم أو غداً ما اكتشفه حتّي بالأمس، فجوهر القضية هو أن فترة السماح قد انتهت، والحكومة قد اكتشفت مع زيارة وزير الخارجية الفرنسية جان إيف لودريان، أن رهان فيلتمان – لومير قد سقط، وأن السياسة الأميركيّة صارت أوروبية خليجية، ومضمونها أن لا أموال للبنان لا من صندوق النقد ولا من سيدر ولا من بعض الراغبين، خارج سياق مستقبل المواجهة مع حزب الله التي تقودها واشنطن، والتي تستهدف تحصيل مكاسب لحساب أمن كيان الاحتلال، عنوانها انسحاب الحزب من سورية وتسهيله قبول الحكومة بخط «هوف» لترسيم الحدود البحرية، ولذلك سيتبلّغ الوزراء «المستقلون» تباعاً أن عليهم مغادرة المركب الحكومي، تعبيراً عن استقلاليتهم، فمضمون الاستقلال كما الحياد، هو الاستقلال عن حزب الله والحياد عن خياراته.

تمر المواجهة بين واشنطن وحزب الله بلحظة مفصلية بانتظار رد المقاومة على العملية التي أدت لاستشهاد أحد مجاهديها قرب مطار دمشق، والواضح أن الحراك الأميركي في الفترة الفاصلة عن الرد سيكون محموماً، وأن أوراق الضغط والرسائل المشفّرة ستستعمل على مدار الساعة، وبمعزل عن تقييم الأشخاص، سنشهد كثيراً من اللزوجة السياسية تعلن انتقال الحكومة من حكومة مستقلين حيادية إلى حكومة صمود ومواجهة، تعرف وتعترف بأنها في قلب مواجهة كبرى لا مكان للاستقلال عنها ولا للحياد فيها، أياً كانت الملاحظات التي سيُبديها المغادرون، والتي قد تحاكي بعض الوقائع الصحيحة، لكن بهدف تبرير المواقف الخاطئة.

مقالات متعلقة

نفط العراق للبنان عبر سورية يعني بدء التوجّه شرقاً رغم أميركا وقانون قيصرها…

د. عصام نعمان

كل ما جرى ويجري في شوارع مدن لبنان من عنف وتخريب منذ أسبوعين كان بفعل الولايات المتحدة ووكلائها المحليين. الغرض؟ محاولة تعطيل توجّه أهل السلطة شرقاً، نتيجةَ ضغطٍ شعبي جارف، للانفتاح والتعاون اقتصادياً مع الصين وروسيا وإيران مروراً بسورية والعراق.

كان محكوماً على أميركا ووكلائها أن تتراجع وتختار بين ما تعتبره «أهون الشرّين»: نفط العراق للبنان بدلاً من نفط إيران. حلفاء أميركا الإقليميّون امتنعوا عن تقديم أيّ عون مالي أو اقتصادي لبلدٍ كان لهم دائماً ساحة نفوذٍ ومربط خيل ومرتع متعة قبل أن ينتهي قياده، في زعمهم، إلى حزب الله وأنصار إيران.

الصديق وقت الضيق. لكن لبنان في ضائقته الشديدة لم يحظَ بعونٍ محسوس من صديقه التقليدي (أميركا) الحريص على أن يبدو دائماً الدولة المقتدرة والقادرة على فعل كل شيء في كل الأزمنة والأمكنة. بعضٌ من أصدقاء الغرب في سدّة السلطة حاروا وداروا وحاوروا وانتظروا طويلاً أن تمدّ أميركا وفرنسا يد المساعدة لكن دونما جدوى.

ما مردّ الإحجام؟

مردّه أسباب عدّة. قيل إن «اسرائيل» المتوجّسة من تنامي قدرات المقاومة (حزب الله) هي مَن دفع ادارة ترامب الى اتخاذ هذا الموقف بغية إضعاف لبنان وإنهاكه اقتصادياً واجتماعياً ما يمكّن اصدقاء الغرب ووكلاءه المحليين من إلقاء المسؤولية والملامة على حزب الله وحلفائه فيسهل أمر إخراجهم من السلطة.

قيل إن فريقاً من حكام الخليج ساءه أن يرتضي سعد الحريري مشاركة خصومهم في السلطة وأن يرعاهم ويُراعيهم حتى باتوا الشريك الأقوى في شركة الحكم.

قيل إن معارضين من أهل السنّة كما من المسيحيين المتعطّشين الى السلطة ساءهم وأساء الى رغائبهم ومصالحهم تحالفٌ وتشارك بين الرئيس العماد ميشال عون ومحازبيه من جهة ومحازبي «الثنائية الشيعية» (تحالف حركة امل وحزب الله) من جهة اخرى ما أبعد هؤلاء المعارضين عن جنّة السلطة ومنافعها ومباهجها ودفعهم الى الضغط على أصدقائهم ومتعهّديهم من المسؤولين في أميركا وأوروبا والخليج للإحجام عن مدّ يد المساعدة الى مَن صنفوهم أعداءً محليين عتاة للغرب عموماً وحكام الخليج خصوصاً.

الحقيقة أن كل هذه الأسباب والدوافع أسهمت بقليل او كثير في إيصال البلاد الى الوضع المأساوي الراهن الذي وصفته المفوّضة السامية للأمم المتحدة لحقوق الإنسان ميشيل باشيله بقولها «إن لبنان يواجه أسواء ازمة اقتصادية في تاريخه، وأن وضعه يخرج بسرعة عن السيطرة».

غير أن السبب الرئيس للتردّي وخروج الوضع عن السيطرة هو تراجع قدرات الولايات المتحدة ونفوذها ودورها في منطقة غرب آسيا الممتدة من شواطئ البحر الأبيض المتوسط غرباً الى شواطئ بحر قزوين شرقاً.

لتراجع قدرات أميركا وتأثيرها اسباب عدّة، محلية وإقليمية ودولية. محلياً، تراجع اقتصادها منذ ازمة صيف 2008 نتيجةَ هجرة الكثير من شركاتها الكبرى الى الخارج، ولا سيما الى جنوب شرق آسيا والشرق الأقصى حيث اليد العاملة الرخيصة والأسواق الواسعة، ما أدى الى تزايد نسبة البطالة وانحسار نسبة التثمير في مختلف ميادين اقتصادها.

إقليمياً، أصبح للولايات المتحدة منافسون مقتدرون سياسياً واقتصادياً وعسكرياً، ابرزهم ثلاثة: إيران، تركيا و«اسرائيل». فإزاء الكثير من القضايا والتحديات والأزمات أصبح لهؤلاء سياسات ومواقف وتدخّلات تتعارض في أحيانٍ كثيرة مع سياسات أميركا وسلوكيتها على الأرض ما أدّى الى إضعاف تأثيرها في الدول والمجتمعات المعتبرة تاريخياً مرتبطة بها او محسوبة عليها.

دولياً، فقدت الولايات المتحدة رتبتها السابقة كأول واكبر وأقوى أقطاب العالم، لا سيما بعد انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي في مطلع تسعينيات القرن الماضي. اليوم، تنافسها الصين على الوحدانية القطبية وعلى النفوذ الاقتصادي في القارات الخمس، وثمة من يعتقد ان اقتصاد الصين اليوم أصبح الاول والاكبر في العالم. الى ذلك، استعادت روسيا الكثير من قدراتها ونفوها باجتذابها اوروبا اليها بعدما أصبحت المورِّد الاول للغاز الى مختلف دولها. كذلك اليابان والهند وكوريا الجنوبية وماليزيا التي استطاعت الارتقاء الى مراتب عليا في التصنيع والتبادل التجاري مع شتى الاسواق العالمية.

نتيجة هذه العوامل والتطورات عدّلت الولايات المتحدة مقاربتها للشؤون الدولية وذلك بالتخلي عن مفهوم الحرب الخشنة ومتطلباتها ووسائلها وذلك باعتماد مفهوم الحرب الناعمة Soft Power التي تمارسها بنشاط ومثابرة في شتى أنحاء العالم ولا سيما في غرب آسيا. خلافاً للحرب الخشنة التي تهدف الى كسر إرادة العدو بالعمل على احتلال ارضه وتدمير مرافقه الحيوية، تهدف الحرب الناعمة الى تعطيل ارادة العدو وإنهاكه باستخدام وسائل الحرب الأهلية، والحصار والعقوبات الاقتصادية، والعصبيات المذهبية المفرّقة، والحرب التجارية، والحملات الإعلامية، والخروق السيبرانية، كل ذلك بقصد إنهاك العدو في الداخل وشل حركته في الخارج والضغط عليه لتقبّل مفاوضة أميركا وفق شروطها وشروط حلفائها الأقربين، وفي مقدمهم «اسرائيل».

الى ذلك، ثمة مفاعيل نفسية، مادية ومدمّرة لجائحة كورونا (كوفيد-19) في شتى أنحاء العالم، ولا سيما في الدولتين الأكثر عداء للعرب. ففي الولايات المتحدة أُعلن عن ارتفاع قياسي في عدد المصابين بالفيروس القاتل اذ سُجلت اكثر من 63 الف إصابة يوم السبت الماضي، وانه استناداً الى ارقام جامعة جون هوبكنز ذهب ضحيته أكثر من 133 الف شخص، وان الولايات المتحدة تتصدر قائمة الدول الأكثر تضرراً من تفشي كورونا.

في «إسرائيل» تحدثت السلطات الصحية عن تسجيل قرابة 1,5 الف اصابة بفيروس كورونا يوم الجمعة الماضي. كما تحدثت وسائل الإعلام عن وضع أكثر من عشرة الآف جندي في الحجر الصحي واستدعاء آلاف من جنود الاحتياط للحلول محلهم.

تداعيات كورونا النفسية والاقتصادية في كِلتا الدولتين المناهضتين للعرب من شأنها الحدّ من هامش الحركة والعمل لديهما كما من اعتداءاتهما على دول الجوار الجغرافي، ولا سيما لبنان وسورية والعراق.

اخيراً وليس آخراً، تزويدُ لبنان بالنفط العراقي عبر سورية يعني بدء التوجّه العملي شرقاً رغم حصار أميركا و«قانون قيصر» وعقوباته القاسية، كما يعني ان سورية والعراق سيكرّسان فتح الحدود والمعابر بينهما لما فيه خير البلدين وتنشيط عمليات النقل البري بين موانئ البحر المتوسط وبلدان الخليج.

*نائب ووزير سابق.

Foreign Security Apparatus Funding Riots, Seeking Chaos in Lebanon: Interior Minister

Source

June 27, 2020

Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammad Fahmi
Click for the Interview

Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammad Fahmi disclosed that there has been a foreign scheme aiming at creating chaos in Lebanon.

In an interview with Al-Manar on Friday, Fahmi cited information that a foreign security apparatus has been supporting and funding  riots which took place since June 11.

He said that he tasked security agencies to contact with Amal movement and Hezbollah during the riots, noting that they were positive and keen to preserve civil peace.

The minsiter told Hadith As-Saa’s Imad Marmal that security forces will prevent bandits from cuting off roads, adding that legal cases to take place against those responsible for those acts.

“We support freedom of speech and demonstration, but blocking roads is an attack on citizens and their dignity,” Fahmi said.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

مرجع أمني للميادين: تركيا أحد مموّلي أعمال التخريب في بيروت التي شارك فيها عرب

A field security reference: Turkey is one of the financiers of sabotage in Beirut, in which Arabs participated

الكاتب: الميادين نت

المصدر: الميادين

مرجع أمني لبناني يفيد الميادين بتوقيف أكثر من 40 شخصاً من جنسيات لبنانية وعربية كانت تعد للتخريب والشغب في العاصمة بيروت.

أفاد مرجع أمني لبناني لمراسل الميادين، اليوم السبت، بأنه تمّ توقيف أكثر من 40 شخصاً من مجموعات كانت تُعدّ للتخريب والشغب في العاصمة بيروت.

وقال المرجع الأمني إن “الموقوفين ما زالوا رهن التحقيق وهم لبنانيون ومن جنسيات عربية مختلفة”. 

وأضاف أن “الموقوفين اعترفوا بتقاضيهم مبالغ مالية، مقابل إحداث الفوضى في بيروت بدءاً من 6 حزيران/ يونيو الجاري”.

ووفق المرجع الأمني، فإن “تركيا هي أحد ممولي مجموعات التخريب في بيروت”.

مراسل الميادين قال إن الموقوفين بتهم التحضير لعمليات تخريب في بيروت هم من جنسيات سودانية وسورية وفلسطينية ولبنانية.

الرئيس اللبناني ميشال عون كان قد أعلن أن السلم الأهلي خط أحمر والمفترض أن يلتقي الكل لتحصينه لأنه مسؤولية الجميع،  مؤكداً أن هناك من يستغل مطالب الناس لتوليد العنف والفوضى لتحقيق أجندات خارجية مشبوهة.

و خلال لقاء حواري في القصر الجمهوري في بعبدا، قال عون “إزاء شحن النفوس والعودة إلى لغة الحرب، كان لا بد لي أن أدعو إلى هذا اللقاء الوطني الجامع”، مشيراً إلى أن لبنان يمر بأسوأ أزمة مالية واقتصادية، ويعيش شعبه معاناة يومية قلقاً على المستقبل.

وتشهد العاصمة بيروت وعدد من المناطق اللبنانية منذ أشهر احتجاجات واسعة على وقع تدهور العملة الوطنية وصعود الدولار ، وتردّي الوضع المعيشي.

وأعادت القوى الأمنية فتح معظم الطرقات التي أقفلها المحتجون في العاصمة ومناطق في جبل لبنان والشمال.

وكانت مجموعات قد وقعت في قبضة القوى الأمنية في 12 حزيران/يونيو بعد قيامهم بأعمال شغب” بحسب القوى الأمنية.

الحريري وموازين الربح والخسارة في لقاء بعبدا

ناصر قنديل

فيما يجنح النائب السابق وليد جنبلاط نحو ترميم البيت السياسي الداخلي لطائفته، ويضمن إغلاق النوافذ أمام الاختراقات، أو أمام الاستثمار على الخلافات لجعلها مدخلاً لتصفية حسابات في ظل سعي موازٍ بتنظيم العلاقة برئاسة الجمهورية والتيار الوطني الحر، على قاعدة عنوانها الفصل بين الوطني والسياسي، فيسلّم الراية لرئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري لهندسة الخطوتين، فإن جنبلاط يضع أمامه خطورة المرحلة وما يرد من معلومات عن وجود مخططات للعبث الأمني، بالتزامن مع قراءة لاتجاه الوضع الاقتصادي والاجتماعي نحو المزيد من التأزم، مستنيراً بصورة ثنائي حزب الله وحركة أمل، أملاً بتحقيق بعض التعاون والتبريد والتهدئة للعصبيات الحزبية في الجبل، رغم صعوبة وجود أرضية سياسية تجمعه بالنائب طلال أرسلان كالتي تجمع الثنائي، تتيح بلوغ مراتب التنسيق لضبط الشارع والجغرافيا في أداء الثنائي.

المسعى الذي ترجمه الرئيس بري في جمعه لجنبلاط وارسلان، يشكل مشروعاً كاملاً لديه، لمحاولة وضع الخلافات السياسيّة في إطار يحمي الساحة من الاختراقات، ولا يرمي لإنهائها أو لجعل أحد الفريقين رابحاً والثاني خاسراً. فالوضع خطير ويزداد خطورة، وما سيجعل الانهيار كارثياً هو أن يتلاقى الضغط الاقتصادي مع توترات سياسية تتحول طائفية ومذهبية وحزبية، ثم يفاجأ الجميع بلاعب أو بلاعبين جدد يدخلون الساحة من بوابة الخلافات والفوضى وفقدان السيطرة، ولذلك سعى بري لإقناع من يستطيع إيصال صوته إليهم بأهمية المشاركة في لقاء بعبدا، الذي لا يجوز النظر إليه كسياق لإلغاء المعارضة، بل لمشاركتها في خطة تحصين تتيح للصراع السياسي أخذ مساحة التأثير اللازمة، في مناخ صحي غير قابل للتفلت، ويبقى تحت السيطرة.

الرئيس سعد الحريري يشكل الحلقة الأهم في مسعى بري، لكن الحريري يعتقد، كما بعض أوساطه، أن مشاركته خسارة كاملة له وربح كامل لرئيس الجمهورية ورئيس الحكومة، اللذين يعتبرهما الحريري الخصمين الراهنين، فيختلط في الحساب مصطلح الخصومة بمصطلح القطيعة، ويمكن النظر لهذه الرؤية كتعبير عن استجابة لاواعية لمناخ شعبوي عنوانه إسقاط العهد والحكومة، وكأن الأمر وارد وراهن وممكن وفي الطريق، ويأتي اللقاء في بعبدا فيجهض كل شيء؛ بينما يعلم الحريري ومستشاروه، أن الأمر الوارد حدوثه قبل بلوغ لحظة فاصلة نحو إسقاط الحكومة وبعدها العهد، هو إسقاط زعامة الحريري نفسه، لأن المشروع الذي يملك مقدرات وأجهزة مخابرات وأموالاً، تحت عنوان إسقاط الحكومة والعهد يدرك استحالة تحقيق المهمة، فيكتفي منها ببلوغ مرتبة متقدّمة من الفوضى، ويكتفي من الفوضى بالسيطرة على شمال لبنان، ومن السيطرة على شمال لبنان تكفيه نهاية الزعامة الحريريّة، والحريري يدرك بالتفاصيل مضمون هذا الكلام.

التهدئة السياسية، وسحب المناخات المتوترة تجهض المشروع الواقف وراء الباب، وتمنح اللاعبين المدعوين إلى بعبدا فرصة الربح المتبادل، بقطع الطريق على مشاريع مموّلة من الخارج لإنتاج زعامات بديلة، او تعويم زعامات سابقة أصابها الضعف، أو التهميش، ولهذا يفكر الجميع بإقفال الأبواب أمام هذه الفرص، ومعها يسعى بري لإقفال الأبواب أمام الفتن. والفتن ليست فقط مذهبية، بل داخل المذهب الواحد، وليست محصورة بمنطقة وطائفة، بل هي تستهدف كل المناطق والطوائف، لكن ما بات منها قيد التشغيل هو ما يعدّ للعائلة الحريرية، وما يقطع الطريق عليه شيء واحد، اسمه الحصانة الوطنية، التي لا يوفرها لقاء رؤساء الحكومات السابقين، حيث واحد منهم لا حول ولا قوة، وآخر ينتظر ساعة سقوط الحريريّة ويفتح القنوات مع بدائلها الشمالية ورعاتهم لاستثنائه من الاستهداف، وثالث يمهّد للحريري طريق السقوط أملاً بالوراثة.

دياب وخصومه: المواجهة داخل الحكومة وخارجها

الانتفاضة تربك الحكومة و«المعارضة»: حزب الله يطمئن دياب والحريري

ابراهيم الأمين

إبراهيم الامين - العنكبوت | Alankabout - أخبار لبنان - أخبار ...

الإثنين 15 حزيران 2020

لم يكن خطاب رئيس الحكومة، أول من أمس، عادياً. لكنه لم يكن نقطة تحوّل يمكن البناء عليها. في الشكل، قال الرئيس حسان دياب ما يمكن توصيفه بأنه تشخيص واقعي للأزمة. وهو جهد بات معلوماً ومفهوماً من الجميع. وحتى إشارته، مجدداً، إلى الفاسدين أو المسؤولين عن الكارثة ليس فيها جديد. بل إنه لا يزال متخلّفاً خطوات عن الاتهام المباشر الذي وجّهه الشارع إلى من يجب أن يتحمل المسؤولية عن الأزمة. ومشكلة دياب ستتفاقم كلما بقي يهرب من مهمة تسمية الأمور بأسمائها، وعدم تكرار ما يقوله السياسيون عن بعضهم البعض، عندما يطلقون اتهامات عامة، تعني في كل الحالات: لا شيء!

ما قاله دياب عن واقع الأزمة وعما يجري من خطوات سياسية من قبل خصومه، وعن تقديره لمتطلبات المرحلة، أمر معروف وليس فيه ما يثير أحداً. وهو لمّح إلى وقائع قال إنها موجودة لديه حول «ليلة الانقلاب الفاشل»، وهدّد بنشرها، لكن لا يبدو أنه سيفعل. والخشية كل الخشية منه أن يفعل ذلك في الوقت الضائع، علماً بأن الكل شعر بأن هناك من رغب في تكرار تجربة أيار 1992، عندما تولّى الراحل رفيق الحريري، بالتعاون مع كل أركان الطبقة (وهم أنفسهم الموجودون اليوم)، إطاحة الحكومة من خلال «سلاح الدولار». الانقلاب تطلّب تحريضاً غير مسبوق، بأبعاد طائفية ومذهبية، وماكينة شائعات جعلت الدولار بسعر خيالي (وفق حسابات اليوم، وقد يكون واقعياً بحسابات الغد)، وكان هؤلاء يتوقّعون مستوى من الفوضى لا يقدر أحد على ضبطه، وعندها تكون المهمة دفع الحكومة الى الاستقالة. لكن ما فاتهم، هو تماماً ما قاله دياب، من أنه شخصياً ليس في وارد الاستسلام. وربما بات على خصومه معرفة حقيقة أنه قليل التأثر بكل أشكال الدعاية. فهو، أساساً، دخل دائرة النار يوم قبل المهمة، وواجه كل محاولات الحرم السياسي والطائفي والمذهبي.

مع ذلك، فإن دياب عندما تحدّث بحرقة عما يحصل، ودافع عن نفسه بأنه ليس من ضمن فريق الخراب في البلاد، كان يعبّر عن قلق مستجدّ. وهو قلق ليس مصدره خصوم الحكومة، بل حلفاء الحكومة. ولذلك، سارع منذ الأربعاء الماضي، وعلى مدى يومين كاملين، شخصياً ومع مساعديه وحلقة وزارية مؤثرة، إلى الاتصال بكل من بيدهم الأمر، وسؤالهم مباشرة عما إذا كانوا في صدد إطاحة الحكومة. وكان حريصاً على سماع الأجوبة الواضحة والمباشرة وغير القابلة للتأويل، والخلاصة التي تهمّه كانت: لا، ليس بيننا من يريد الانقلاب على الحكومة!

هذه الخلاصة سمحت له بقول ما قاله في خطابه. لكن، مع الأسف، هذه خلاصة تخصّ دياب وحده، أو تخصّ حكومته وحدها. لكنها لا تعالج مشكلاته المتفاقمة يوماً بعد يوم، سواء من داخل الحكومة، حيث النقاش بين القوى المؤلفة لها لم يعد موجوداً كما في السابق وعادت الريبة لتسكن الجميع. سليمان فرنجية وطلال أرسلان يراعيان حزب الله. والأخير يهتم بكيفية تقليص حجم التوتر بين التيار الوطني الحر وحركة أمل. والرئيس ميشال عون يريد إنجازات كبيرة، لكنه لا يزال يحمّل الآخرين مسؤولية التعطيل. وحزب الله نفسه لا يريد الانفجار، ويقوم بدور الإطفائي في كل لحظة. لكن الحزب لن يكون قادراً على حماية الحكومة من المفاجآت التي تأتي من دون سابق إنذار. وبالتالي، فإن التحدي الأبرز أمام الحكومة اليوم، وأمام دياب شخصياً، هو في قدرته على إقناع ثلاثي التيار ــــ أمل ــــ حزب الله، بالدخول في نقاش يستهدف التفاهم على آلية إدارة عمل الحكومة في المرحلة اللاحقة. وهو نقاش لا يبدو أنه قريب المنال. لا بل إن الحوارات خارج الحكومة تجري بوتيرة أسرع، سواء تلك التي يقودها الرئيس نبيه بري لتهدئة التوترات بين حلفائه الدروز، أو تلك الجارية من دون نتيجة على جبهة فرنجية ــــ باسيل. لكن نصيب الحكومة من هذه الحوارات لا يبدو مطروحاً على الطاولة. وبالتالي، فإن الخطر على الحكومة من انفجار داخلي يوازي خطر تعرضها لضربة قوية من خارجها.

لم يعد مهمّاً التشخيص وتقدير الموقف والاتّهامات العامّة، والتحدّي بتسمية الخصوم واعتماد آليّات جديدة

على أن الفكرة التي يهرب دياب من مواجهتها تكمن في أن عليه تحديد الخصوم الحقيقيين للحكومة، سواء من خارجها أو من داخلها. وليس معروفاً إن كان قد تعلّم من درس التعيينات. ففي هذا الملف، لم يتمكن من درء مخاطر المواجهة مع التيار الوطني الحر أو حركة أمل، إلا عبر عقد صفقة معهما أمّنت لهما استمرار الإمساك بناصية التعيينات على الخلفيات الطائفية، وتركا له اختبار «لذة المحاصصة» من خلال بعض المناصب التي لن تقدم ولا تؤخّر في مسيرة إدارة الدولة. وما فعله دياب في ملف الكهرباء، مثلاً، وخضوعه الضمني لمطلب جبران باسيل ــــ ولو الشكلي ــــ بالحفاظ على حق سلعاتا في معمل ثالث، كان أكثر الإشارات خطورة. فهو، هنا، لم يراع حسابات داخل الحكومة، بل شرّع حسابات لها بعدها الطائفي لا التنموي، وكل محاولة من باسيل وجماعته لإضفاء طابع تنموي على الخطوة محاولة فاشلة للتستّر على موجة الطائفية ــــ الفدرالية التي تسود أوساط العونيين على وجه الخصوص، وتنذر بمخاطر كبيرة، وخصوصاً أن القائمين عليها لا يبدو أنهم تعلّموا دروس الماضي القريب.
الجانب الآخر من المشكلة يتعلق بالوضع العام للإدارة المالية والاقتصادية للبلاد. ومشكلة حسان دياب، هنا، هي أن توصيفه لواقع المشكلة لا يترافق مع طرح آليات مختلفة أو مناقضة لما كان سائداً. فأولوية إطاحة رياض سلامة لا تخص شخص الأخير، بل آليات عمله. وبالتالي فإن التعيينات المالية الجديدة لن تفيد في شيء ما لم يجرؤ رئيس الحكومة على طرح السؤال المركزي: ألم يحن الوقت لتعديل قانون النقد والتسليف الذي يوفر الحماية للنظام الاقتصادي والمالي العفن الذين تسبّب بكل أزمات لبنان؟

أمر أخير، يتعلق بالحسابات الخارجية. تحدّي «قانون قيصر» لا يتعلق بالقدرة على تحدي الضغوط الأميركية، بل يتعلق، أولاً وأخيراً، بأن لبنان في حال قرر عدم مواجهة هذا القانون سيكون طرفاً في مشكلة إقليمية كبيرة لا قدرة له على تحمل كلفتها. ولن يكون بمقدور أميركا ولا كل الغرب حمايته من آثارها السلبية. وبالتالي، فإن التحدّيات الكبيرة أمام حكومة دياب باتت اليوم أكثر وضوحاً: لقد انتهى زمن التشخيص وتقدير الوضع، وها نحن أمام زمن القرارات الكبيرة التي تتطلّب من دياب الاتّكال على حليف كبير يساعده على مواجهة خصومه من داخل الحكومة أو خارجها. وهذا الحليف هو الفعل الشعبي في الشارع من جهة، وصعوبة توفّر بديل منه لإدارة الحكومة.
بات على دياب الاستماع إلى غير الذين يلتقيهم هذه الأيام، والاقتناع بأن التغيير الحقيقي يشمل كل شيء، لا موقعاً أو اسماً أو وظيفة فقط… وما لا يمكن لدياب أو غيره تجاهله، هو أن فترة السماح تقارب على الانتهاء. وساعتها سيتحوّل الى مجرّد لافتة تنتظر لحظة إزالتها

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«سماسرة الداخل» يزاودون على الأميركيّين!

د. وفيق إبراهيم

هذه هي المشكلة التاريخية للبنان، بما لديه من سياسيين كانوا دائماً أصغر منه ولا يفعلون إلا محاولة التشبث بالسلطة عبر الولاء الأعمى والكامل للخارج الإقليمي والدولي من دون الاعتماد على قوى شعبية في الداخل.

فلماذا يبذلون جهوداً للإقناع السياسي، طالما أنهم يمتلكون وسيلة التحريض الطائفية – المذهبية التي تجمع الناس حين يريدون وتفرقهم عند انتفاء الحاجة اليهم، هذا هو السحر على الطريقة اللبنانية الذي اصاب حتى الرئيس الاميركي دونالد ترامب الذي خرج متسللاً من البيت الابيض ليزور كنيسة قريبة ويعود حاملاً انجيلاً مقدساً يلوح به لكسب عواطف الفقراء من الأعراق البيضاء. مهدداً في الوقت نفسه السود الأميركيين بغالبيتهم الاسلامية.

ما الفارق إذاً بين نديم وسامي وترانب وسمير ورؤساء الإفتاء الاسلامي والبطاركة والمطارنة وقادة أحزاب تدعى الاشتراكية والتقدمية والعروبة ايضاً على قياس الأحياء والزواريب والزعامات المنفوخة.

هناك بالطبع استثناءات تجمع بين القوة الداخلية والتحالف الخارجي على اساس المشروع وليس الاستزلام.

وهذا ينطبق على رئيس المجلس النيابي نبيه بري وحزب الله والتيار الوطني الحر، إنما يصل الأمر الى حدود سامي الجميل وابن عمه البلبل نديم ووريثهما سمير جعجع وصولاً الى الحريرية الجديدة. فهذا بالفعل مثير للقهقهة، لان من الواضح ان هذه القوى تؤدي دور منصات داخلية للتبشير بفضائل المشاريع الخارجية وتعول على انتصار الاميركيين في سورية والعراق لتتمكن من الامساك مجدداً بلبنان.

اليست هذه هي الطريقة التقليدية للإمساك بالدولة في لبنان لكن مقاومة الاسرائيليين وطردهم ودحر الارهاب من سورية وجبال لبنان الشرقية لا تنتمي الى هذه الفئة الوصولية.

هؤلاء السماسرة لا يبدلون اساليبهم منذ 1948 وتتلخص بالاعتماد على الخارج على حساب مصالح بلادهم. فكيف يمكن لقوى سياسية أفقرت لبنان منذ عقود متواصلة ووضعته في دائرة انهيار اقتصادي داهم ان تحرض مؤسسات النقد والمال الدولية لتمتنع عن اقراض لبنان مبالغ تجعله قادراً على المراوحة الا بعد التزامه بأربعة شروط اميركية واولها قانون قيصر الاميركي الذي يريد خنق سورية بقطع كل علاقاتها المالية والنقدية والاقتصادية مع الجوار وبشكل كامل.

اما ثاني الشروط فهي موافقة لبنان على السماح لقوات الطوارئ الدولية اليونيفيل بتفتيش القرى اللبنانية المحاذية للحدود مع فلسطين المحتلة.

فلا يتبقى إلا موافقة لبنان على نشر قوات دولية عند حدوده مع سورية ايضاً.

فيتبقى شرط رابع «بريء» جداً يتعلق بتجريد حزب الله من سلاحه مروجين ان اسبابه تتعلق بسيادة الدولة اللبنانية على اراضيها ومتطلبات السلم الاهلي.

ألم يكن أولى بهؤلاء السماسرة ان يشاركوا بتحرير لبنان بدلاً من تغطية العدوان الاسرائيلي عليه في 1982 ودعمهم لهذا الاحتلال حتى 2006، حتى ان كبار القيادات استقبلوا في قصورهم الجبلية وفيلاتهم البيروتية قائد جيش العدو الاسرائيلي في حينه شارون؟ أهؤلاء هم أهل السيادة الذين ذهبوا الى عرسال حاملين طعاماً و»بقلاوة» قدموها للتنظيمات الإرهابية، وذلك لانهم اعتبروا داعش والقاعدة منظمات تقاتل السوريين وحزب الله، فإذا انتصر الارهاب فقد يمنحهم «ولاية لبنان» ليحكموها، او يثبتهم الاميركيون على «لبنان الديموقراطي» العميق الجذور مقصياً الارهابيين عنهم، فهكذا يحلم السماسرة دائماً، وهم دائماً على خطأ وذلك لأسباب عدة: اولاً شكل التقاء حزب الله وحركة امل مع التيار الوطني الحر استقراراً سياسياً واجتماعياً طيلة الخمس عشرة سنة الماضية، ولم يمسك هذا التقارب بكامل السلطة في لبنان محترماً تنوعاتها السياسية والمذهبية والعرقية.

حتى انه اخترع معادلة «الوحدة الوطنية» الطائفية لتبرير وجود قوى سياسية معادية له، لها ميزة الحضور السياسي في طوائفها، وكان بإمكانه ابعادها.

وبقي هذا التحالف متمسكاً برئيس الحكومة السابق سعد الحريري رئيساً لمجلس الوزراء حرصاً على التوازنات الداخلية والإقليمية، ولم يتخل عنه الا بعد فراره من القطار الحكومي لكي لا يتحمل مسؤولية الانهيار الاقتصادي الكارثي.

اين هي المشكلة؟ تتجسد في مجموعة 14 آذار الذي فروا اولاً من مجابهة الانهيار الاقتصادي عائدين على متن مطالب اميركية وربما أكثر، تريد تصفية حزب الله بقوة الابتزاز، فإما تطبق إقفال الحدود مع سورية وحق اليونيفل بتفتيش القرى في الجنوب وإلا فلا قروض ممكنة للبنان من صندوق النقد الدولي.

لذلك تعاود الحريرية والجعجعية وتنوّعات آل الجميل تحريض الخارج على الداخل وتنظيم تحركات شعبية معادية لسلاح حزب الله، اما الوزير جنبلاط فيمارس كعادته سياسة باطنية يتشاور فيها حالياً مع أصدقائه القدامى الروس كي يبني على الشيء مقتضاه.

فإذا تلقى نصائح من الروس بالابتعاد عن المشهد الجعجعي – الأميركي لان مشروعهم الجديد لن يربح، وهذا ما أكد عليه السفير الروسي في لبنان منذ يومين فقط.

لذلك فقد نجد أبا تيمور متموضعاً في مكانين مختلفين: الاول سراً مع القوات والحريري والكتائب من خلال تحركات خجولة في خلدة والناعمة، والثاني يلتزم فيها بصبر استراتيجي ليتبين الموقف من صديقه الرئيس نبيه بري الذي لا يبخل عليه عادة بوصفات سحرية.

ما هو المطلوب الآن؟

اولاً ان تصدر الانتفاضة الفعلية بياناً تعلن فيه ان لا علاقة لها بتحركات تنظمها القوات والكتائب والحريريون وقوى أخرى شديدة الالتباس يوم السبت المقبل، وبذلك فقط تنظف الانتفاضة مسيرتها من المندسّين بها من سماسرة الخارج.

اما ما تبقى فهو رهن بنتائج التنسيق بين بري – حزب الله الذاهب نحو الدفاع عن الدولة من سياسييها الذين يواصلون سرقتها منذ أكثر من أربعة عقود.

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