أيها اللبنانيون مَنْ منكم يعرف أسماء شهداء الاستقلال؟

معن بشور

شكراً لرفاق القوميين الاجتماعيين الذين بإحيائهم على مدى أعوام لذكرى رفيقهم شهيد الاستقلال في بشامون سعيد فخر الدين، يذكّرون اللبنانيين بأنّ استقلالهم لم يأت دون شهداء وتضحيات، وأنه لم يكن نتيجة ضغط بريطانيّ على الانتداب الفرنسي، كما يحلو للكثيرين تصويره..

ولكن كم من اللبنانيين يعرف أنّ البطل فخر الدين لم يكن الشهيد الوحيد في تلك الأيام العشرة الفاصلة بين اعتقال أركان حكومة الاستقلال 11 تشرين الثاني وإعلان الاستقلال في 22 تشرين الثاني 1943، بل كان هناك 14 شهيداً و 44 جريحاً في طرابلس تمّ إطلاق النار عليهم في ساحة السلطي في شارع المصارف، بعد اعتقال المغفور له عبد الحميد كرامي مع الرئيسين بشارة الخوري ورياض الصلح والوزراء كميل شمعون وعادل عسيران وسليم تقلا، بالإضافة الى شهداء أطفال المدارس في صيدا الذين تمّ قتلهم بالدم البارد أمام مقر الحاكم الفرنسي…

بل كمّ من اللبنانيين يذكر كيف اتّحد اللبنانيون، كما لم يتحدوا من قبل في معركة الاستقلال، فصنعوا في شوارع عاصمتهم وسائر المدن والأرياف، كما في برلمانهم والحكومة المؤقتة في بشامون وفي قلعة راشيا، ملحمة الاستقلال التي صنعت للبنانيين استقلالاً، ولكن لم تكن كافية لتصنع لاستقلالهم دولة الحق والقانون والعدالة الخالية من أمراض الطائفية والفساد والارتهان للقوى الخارجيّة..

لم يكن إهمال الرواية الكاملة لملحمة الاستقلال جزءاً من الإهمال المزمن الذي يعاني منه اللبنانيّون منذ أكثر من 77 عاماً، بقدر ما كان جزءاً من خطة خطيرة بعناوين متعدّدة.

أوّل العناوين ترسيخ القناعة لدى الشعب اللبناني أنّ لبنان قاصر تتقاذفه لعبة الأمم ولا يستطيع شعبه ان يحقق نصراً لا في الداخل ولا على الخارج إلا «بمعونة أجنبيّة»، وهو ما يتجلّى اليوم حين باتت المبادرة الفرنسيّة هي حبل نجاة اللبنانيين في مفارقة تاريخيّة تقول «إنّ من اجتمع اللبنانيون جميعاً بالأمس لإخراجه، من بلدهم أصبح اليوم محطّ إجماع الطبقة السياسيّة الحاكمة لإنقاذ البلد بعد 77 عاماً من الاستقلال.

ثاني العناوين تكريس الانطباع أنّ الاستقلال كان نتيجة جهود فوقيّة بين سياسيين وسفراء لا ثمرة كفاح شعبيّ دامٍ قدّم خلاله اللبنانيون العديد من الشهداء مباشرة في لبنان، أو من خلال انخراط العديد منهم في الثورة السورية الكبرى عام 1925 بقيادة سلطان باشا الأطرش والتي يجمع المؤرّخون وفي مقدمّهم المؤرخ الكبير الأستاذ شفيق جحا أنها كانت أحد أبرز الأسباب التي أدّت الى استعجال المندوب السامي الفرنسي منح لبنان دستوره عام 1926، وهو الدستور الذي ما زال معمولاً به بعد تعديلين أولهما يوم الاستقلال، وثانيهما بعد الطائف عام 1989.

ثالث العناوين هو انتهاج سياسة حرمان بعض المدن والمناطق اللبنانيّة من الإعلان شرف المشاركة بدماء أبنائها في ملحمة الاستقلال، وكأنّها ناقصة «اللبنانية» لتبرير حرمانها طيلة عهود الاستقلال من أبسط حقوقها ومن تشغيل أهمّ مرافقها، ولعلّ ما تعرّضت له مدن كطرابلس وصيدا وجبل عامل وأرياف الشمال والبقاع من حرمان هو أنصع دليل على هذه الخطة.

من هنا، وفي ظلّ إهمال الطبقة الحاكمة لشهداء تلك الملحمة الاستقلاليّة الرائعة، والذين لم يستحقوا حتى زيارة «بروتوكولية» لمدافنهم، كما هي زيارة أضرحة الرؤساء والوزراء والزعماء الذين شاركوا في تلك الملحمة، نشعر انه لا بدّ من أن نذكر أسماء أولئك الشهداء، خصوصاً في طرابلس وصيدا، مذكرّين أيضاً بلوحة في قلعة الاستقلال في راشيا تضمّ أسماء كلّ أبناء تلك المنطقة الذين استشهدوا في معارك ضدّ الاحتلال الفرنسي.

أما شهداء طرابلس فهم: سليم صابونه، أحمد صابر كلثوم، رشيد رمزي حجازي، فوزي قاسم شحود، عبد الغني أفيوني، عباس إبراهيم حبوشي، محمد علي حسين خضر، عبد القادر مصطفى الشهال، كمال عبد الرزاق ضناوي، وديع خاطر بركات، أحمد جوجو، محمد حسين الحمد وسليم الشامي.

وفي صيدا استشهد في انتفاضة 1936 ضدّ الانتداب، برصاص جنود الانتداب الذي أصاب ايضاً كتف المجاهد الشهيد معروف سعد وأدّى الى استشهاد كلّ من: عبد الحليم الحلاق، محمد مرعي النعماني، ناهيك عن كوكبة من طلبة المدارس في صيدا الذين استشهدوا او جرحوا برصاص الانتداب أمام مركز المندوب الفرنسي وهم الشهداء: سعد البزري، ثروت الصباغ وشفيقة ارقدان.

فكيف تكون احتفالاتنا في عيد الاستقلال في غياب أيّ ذكر لشهداء الاستقلال، بل في غياب أيّ محاسبة لمن أوصل لبنان الى ما هو عليه من حال مزرية على كلّ المستويات، ومن فساد ما زال أقوى من كلّ محاولات التصدّي له، حتى بات «استقلالنا» هذه الأيام هو «طرد» شركة تدقيق جنائي لمصرف لبنان وحساباته، ولوزارات الدولة ومؤسساتها، من بلادنا، حرصاً على «الصندوق الأسود» الذي بات أهمّ من استقلال الوطن وحقوق المواطن.

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.

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. […]

Donate as little as you can to support this work and subscribe to the Newsletter to get around censorship.

“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

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

Related Videos

Related Posts

Taif Agreement Ensured Shia Governmental Partnership through Finance Portfolio & Binding Signature on Ministerial Decrees

September 19, 2020

Image1

Mohammad Salami

Among the complications, which hinder the new cabinet formation in Lebanon, comes the rotation of the ministerial portfolios over the sects in accordance with the Constitution whose last amendment was in 1990, known as the Taif Agreement.

The essence of Taif agreement is transferring the powers of the President to the council of ministers, according to the former MP Nasser Qandil who added, in an interview with Al-Manar TV Channel, that the prime minister cannot monopolize the powers which the President enjoyed before 1990.

Kandil explained that the Shia governmental partnership is ensured through granting them the Finance portfolio which guarantees their binding signature on almost all the ministerial decrees, stressing that depriving the Shia from this right means excluding them from the partnership in the political system.

Kandil, who is also the editor-in-chief of Al-Binaa newspaper, pointed out the finance portfolio was given to the Shia in three governments formed after the Taif Agreement (Dr. Ali Khalil and Dr. Asaad Diab), adding that the House Speaker Nabih Berri agreed to relinquish it in favor of the late premier Rafik Hariri exclusively in the context of a guarantee presented by the Syrian President Hafez Al-Asad at that time.

“Shia governmental partnership was guaranteed by the troika presidential system till 2005 when Hariri was assassinated. After the regression of the political and security turmoil in 2009, the Shia secured one-third of of the government for 5 years. Since 2014, the finance portfolio has been granted to the Shia just in line with the Taif agreement.”

The PM-designate Mustafa Adib, backed by a group of former premiers, insist on rotating the ministerial portfolios over the sects, without taking into consideration the distinctive conditions of the finance portfolio, while Hezbollah and Amal Movement reject denying the Shia this right and highlight its role in ensuring their participation in the Lebanese political system.

Kandil stressed that the role of the PM-designate is to contact the various political forces in order to take their opinions and views into the consideration of the government formation, adding that reaching the end of this deadlock requires this positive approach.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Related Videos

لهذه الأسباب يرفض أديب احترام الآليات الدستورية للطائف

حسن حردان

بات من الواضح أنّ عملية تشكيل الحكومة اللبنانية، من قبل الرئيس المكلف الدكتور مصطفى أديب، لا تسلك طريق الآليات الدستورية، التي كرّسها اتفاق الطائف، والتي يجب أن تقوم على احترام نتائج الانتخابات… عبر القيام بالخطوات الإلزامية التالية…

أولاً، التشاور مع الكتل النيابية في البرلمان لتحديد شكل ومضمون وبرنامج الحكومة، وتسمية الشخصيات التي تقترح تمثيلها في الحكومة.

ثانياً، الحرص على أن تكون تشكيلة الحكومة التي ستشكل تحوز على…

1

ـ تمثيل الكتل النيابية وفق أحجامها في البرلمان…

2

ـ ضمان تمتع الحكومة بالميثاقية، أيّ تمثيل الطوائف اللبنانية تمثيلاً عادلاً حسب الدستور.. لأنّ النظام يقوم على المحاصصة الطائفية بموجب المادة 95، طالما لم يتمّ إلغاء الطائفية…

3

ـ الاتفاق مع رئيس الجمهورية بشأن التشكيلة الحكومية وأسماء الوزراء، حسب الدستور الذي يقول بوضوح إنّ رئيس الجمهورية «يصدر بالاتفاق مع رئيس مجلس الوزراء مرسوم تشكيل الحكومة» (الفقرة 4). وكلمة بالاتفاق تعني دستورياً انّ لديه صلاحية التعديل والاعتراض على التشكيلة إذا كانت لا تلبّي شروط التمثيل الحقيقي أو الميثاقية…

لماذا يتمّ القفز فوق هذه الآليات الدستورية؟

لا شيء يدفع الرئيس المكلف إلى تجاهل الكتل النيابية لا سيما الأغلبية، التي من دونها لا تستطيع حكومته أن تنال الثقة في البرلمان.. لا شيء يدفعه إلى ذلك سوى خضوعه لضغط مباشر من رئيس تيار المستقبل الرئيس سعد الحريري ونادي رؤساء الحكومات السابقين الذين سمّوه قبل الاستشارات النيابية، والذين استغلوا تسمية أديب، من دون وجود اتفاق مسبق على تشكيلة وطبيعة ونوعية الحكومة وبرنامجها، لأجل محاولة فرض تأليف حكومة من الاختصاصيين تؤمّن لهم ولسيّدهم الأميركي إقصاء حزب الله المقاوم وحلفائه عن السلطة التنفيذية.. وهو أمر يتعارض مع الموقف المعلن للرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون، لكنه يلبّي المطلب الأميركي المعلن والواضح منذ استقالة حكومة الرئيس الحريري اثر انتفاضة ١٧ تشرين الأول.. وذلك بهدف تمكن هذه الحكومة من تحقيق هدفين مهمّين لواشنطن…

الهدف الأول، فرض اتفاق لترسيم الحدود البحرية والبرية وفق الصيغة التي وضعها الموفد الأميركي فريدريك هوف خلال زيارته لبنان عام 2012 واقترح خلالها أن يتمّ تقاسم المنطقة المتنازع عليها بين لبنان وكيان العدو الصهيوني عند الحدود البحرية الجنوبية. التي تمتدّ على حوالى 860 كلم 2، والاقتراح يريد إعطاء لبنان مساحة 500 كلم2 مقابل أن تحصل تل أبيب على 360 كلم2. أي أن يتخلى لبنان عن 40% من هذه المساحة التي تحتوي على ثروة نفطية هامة… لكن لبنان رفض رفضاً قاطعاً التنازل وأصرّ على ترسيم يحفظ كامل حقه، وهذا الموقف أبلغه دولة الرئيس بري مراراً وتكراراً إلى جميع الموفدين الأميركيين الذين زاروا لبنان منذ ذلك التاريخ وحاولوا، دون جدوى، الحصول منه على تنازل…

الهدف الثاني، الاستجابة لشروط صندوق النقد الدولي التي تربط تقديم قروض ميسّرة للبنان بتخصيص ما تبقى من مؤسسات ومنشآت للدولة تدرّ عائدات هامة على الخزينة، وفي المقدمة الهاتف الخليوي والمرافئ وغيرها.. إلى جانب فرض ضرائب جديدة غير مباشرة على عامة المواطنين وتقليص حجم الدولة بتسريح عدد كبير من الموظفين…

هذان الهدفان، الأول يحقق الأطماع الصهيونية على حساب المصلحة الوطنية.. والثاني يجعل لبنان أكثر ارتهاناً اقتصادياً ومالياً للولايات المتحدة لإخضاعه بالكامل لهيمنتها انطلاقاً من سياسة معروفة وهي الإمساك باقتصاديات الدول التي ترفض الهيمنة الاستعمارية الأميركية والعمل على ابتزازها وإخضاعها بوساطة السلاح الاقتصادي والمالي، الذي اطلق عليه احد الكتاب الأميركيين وصف «القاتل الاقتصادي».. وطبعاً الهدف الذي تسعى إليه واشنطن من وراء ذلك هو محاصرة المقاومة والعمل على نزع سلاحها، لا سيما الصواريخ الدقيقة التي تقلق كيان العدو الصهيوني وتردعه وتشلّ قدرته على شنّ العدوان على لبنان، وتشكل قوة دعم أساسية للمقاومة الفلسطينية وعموداً أساسياً من أعمدة محور المقاومة، الذي أحبط المشروع الأميركي الصهيوني للشرق الأوسط الجديد، تهيمن فيه «إسرائيل» باعتبارها أداة الغرب لتأبيد الهيمنة الاستعمارية على المنطقة، ومواصلة نهب ثرواتها وتحويلها إلى مجرد سوق استهلاكية لمنتجاته…

لأجل تحقيق هذين الهدفين عمدت واشنطن إلى وضع خطة لتفجير «ربيع لبناني» من خلال تشديد الحصار المالي على لبنان ودفع الأزمة المالية والاقتصادية للانفجار، واستطراداً التسبّب بانهيار القدرة الشرائية للمواطنين مما يدفعهم إلى الاحتجاج في الشارع ضدّ سياسات الحكومة.. طبعاً الأدوات الأميركية، لتنفيذ الانقلاب، كانت جاهزة لاستغلال وركوب موجة الاحتجاج الذي انفجر في ١٧ تشرين الأول من عام 2019… إعلام، مال، منظمات الأنجيؤز، وشعارات موجهة تحرّض ضدّ حزب الله وحلفائه، لا سيما رئيس الجمهورية العماد ميشال عون، والرئيس نبيه بري، والتيار الوطني الحر، وتحمّلهم المسؤولية الأساسية عن الفساد والأزمة تحت شعار «كلن يعني كلن».. بما يذكر بشعار «الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام» لمصلحة تجديد شباب الأنظمة العربية الرجعية في مصر وتونس، ومن ثم استخدامه لإسقاط الدول الوطنية، وخصوصاً الدولة الوطنية السورية، التي تواجه الاحتلال وتدعم المقاومة وترفض الهيمنة الاستعمارية الأميركية الغربية..

هذا هو بيت القصيد من المحاولات الأميركية لتدبير الانقلاب على المعادلة السياسية في لبنان عبر السعي لفرض تشكيل حكومة اختصاصيين «مستقلة» لكنها في الحقيقة حكومة تابعة تنفذ التوجيهات الأميركية..

إذا عاد وسلم الرئيس أديب، وطبعاً من خلفه نادي رؤساء الحكومات السابقين، بتشكيل حكومة وفاق وطني، كما ينص اتفاق الطائف، فهذا معناه فشل الخطة الأميركية الانقلابية…

ولأنّ واشنطن، لا تزال تراهن على أنه بإمكانها تحقيق الانقلاب السياسي في لبنان، تعمل على الضغط لمنع تأليف مثل هذه الحكومة، وتستخدم سلاح العقوبات الاقتصادية ضدّ شخصيات وطنية حليفة لحزب الله المقاوم، لأجل محاولة إرهابها ودفعها إلى الاستسلام للشروط الأميركية المذكورة وعدم الوقوف حائلاً دون تشكيل حكومة أميركية الهوى..

غير أنّ الحلم الأميركي بتحقيق هذا الانقلاب كحلم ابليس بالجنة.. فما كان ممكناً جزئياً عام 2005، لم يعد ممكناً عام 2020، لا سيما في ظلّ تنامي قوة المقاومة وحلفها الوطني والعربي والإقليمي، على خلفية فشل الحروب الأميركية الصهيونية الإرهابية في تحقيق أهدافها، ونجاح حلف المقاومة في تحقيق الانتصارات في مواجهة هذه الحروب وتعميق مأزق المشروع الأميركي الصهيوني.. ولولا وجود بعض القوى والأطراف السياسية في لبنان، التي تشكل حصان طروادة للتدخل الأميركي الغربي، وتحاول الاستقواء به لاستعادة هيمنتها على السلطة، لما كان بإمكان واشنطن إثارة الاضطراب والانقسام في البلاد وتستمرّ في المراهنة على محاولة تحقيق أهدافها الاستعمارية، التي هي، في الوقت نفسه، أهداف صهيونية…

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on the Tenth of Muharram

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on the Tenth of Muharram
Video Here

Translated by Staff

Full speech of Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the occasion of the tenth day of Muharram (08/30/2020)

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 be upon you, O my master and my lord, O Aba Abdullah and upon souls that gathered in your courtyard. Peace be upon you from me forever as long as I am existent and as long as there are day and night. May Allah not decide this time of my visit to you both to be the last. Peace be upon Hussein, Ali bin Al Hussein, the children of Hussein, and the companions of Hussein.

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all. May God Almighty reward you.

On the tenth day of the anniversary of the great calamity and tragedy that befell the Muslims and the nation, which we always remember, and every year on this day we offer condolences to the one who is truly consoled, to the one who cried Al-Hussein at his birth and before his martyrdom, the Messenger of Allah, the master of the messengers and the prophets, Muhammad bin Abdullah (PBUH), who was the grandfather of Al-Hussein (PBUH). To the Commander of the Faithful, Ali bin Abi Talib (PBUH); to the Mistress of the Women of the Worlds, the mother of Al-Hussein Fatima Al-Zahra (PBUH); to Imam Al-Hassan Al-Mujtaba, the oppressed martyr (PBUH); to our masters and imams; to the remnant of Allah on earth, our souls be sacrificed for him, whose cries his grandfather blood instead of tears; to all Muslims and those who love the household of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), we offer our condolences on this great day and on this painful occasion.
This year, the tenth day [of Muharram], especially for us in Lebanon, comes sadder. The squares and streets in Lebanon, which were crowded and filled with devotees and mourners during times like this, are today empty because of this epidemic that struck the world.

Every year, the scene was always strong and distinctive. It expresses the people’s loyalty, insight, awareness, passion, and love for God, the Messenger of God, and the Messenger of God’s household.

We ask God Almighty to lift this pandemic from all the peoples of the world, from us and from you, so that the we can mark the anniversary next year as it has always been marked throughout the years, God willing.

It has been customary that on the tenth day that we summarize the situation in Karbala, and then from there, we talk about our contemporary issues. Here, I will invoke two well-known positions of the Master of the martyrs, Abu Abdullah Al-Hussein (PBUH).

The first position: When falsehood, its logic, policy, and position prevail and become dominant, while the truth is lost, becomes estranged, and even condemned, every believer, honest and free people are required to take a stance of protest that may reach to martyrdom.

In this position, Al-Hussein (PBUH) said: “Can you not see that the truth is not followed, and the falsehood is not shunned?” He said this when he was explaining the reason for his departure and his journey to Karbala as well as the state of the ummah at that time.

“Can you not see that the truth is not followed, and the falsehood is not shunned? In such circumstances a believer should desire to meet Allah.” – if every person will definitely meet God Almighty, and the believer will meet God, let him meet Him while he is right, defending the truth, fighting for the truth, and being martyred for the sake of the truth.

“In such circumstances, a believer should desire to meet Allah. Surely, I regard death as nothing but an honor and life with oppressors as anything but disgrace.” – what kind of life is this when falsehood becomes the one that governs all people’s issues, large and small.

The second position: When the pretenders, dictators, thieves, invaders, and occupiers give you two options: either accept the humiliating solutions and the humiliating life or bear the war they are imposing on you and its consequences. Then, the choice in the school of Karbala is clear, decisive, and strong. 

“Beware that this illegitimate son of the illegitimate one has made me choose between the two: drawing sword and humiliation, and never to humiliation!” – why? Was it a position based on his mood? No!

“Verily, Allah disagrees to it and so do His Prophet, and the sacred laps which nursed us, the modest, and those who abhor disgrace disagree to it that we bow down to the ignoble men, and they exhort us to being killed manly in the battlefield over it.” – this is the summary of the situation on the tenth day in Karbala.

Based on these two foundations, I will delve into some of our current issues.

I have a few words or two points regarding the situation in the region. Regarding the Lebanese situation, there are a number of points. Of course, the issue regarding the southern borders with occupied Palestine, I will include it with the Lebanese situation.

First: Regarding the struggle in the region today, there are two clear scenes or positions for the struggle between right and falsehood, meaning there is no confusion between them.

The first position: Palestine is occupied. The Zionist “Israelis” have been occupying this holy land since 1948 and 1967, in addition to Syria’s occupied Golan, Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms and Kfar Shouba Hills, and the Lebanese part of the town of al-Ghajar. There is a clear and unambiguous falsehood here – occupation, invasion, confiscation of the rights of others by force, terrorism, and massacres. There is also a clear and undisputed truth – the right of the Palestinian people to the entirety of Palestine from the sea to the river, the right of the Syrian people to the entire occupied Golan, and the right of the Lebanese people to the rest of their occupied land.

There are always those who want to impose falsehood – occupation by military force, wars, destruction, murder, assassination, displacement, economic siege and starvation. Today, in the face of this falsehood, there are those who stand by the side of truth, those who uphold the truth, and those who fight for this right and resist this occupation. They are the ones who reject this usurping entity. They include countries, peoples, and resistance movements.

Today, on the tenth of Muharram, on the day when faith is expressed firmly, we in Hezbollah and in the Islamic Resistance affirm our categorical commitment to rejecting this usurping entity and not recognizing it even if the whole world acknowledges it. We cannot recognize this apparent falsehood, this injustice, invasion, occupation, and the confiscation of lands, the people’s rights and sanctities. This is our commitment. 

We will remain beside all who fight and confront this entity that is usurping al-Quds, Palestine, the occupied Syrian Golan, and Lebanese territory still under occupation and is threatening the entire region.

The second position: The reality and fate of the peoples, governments, states, and resources not only occupied Palestine, but also the region in which we live. 

There is also a struggle between truth and falsehood. The truth is represented by the people and the governments that express the will of the people. The people in our region want to live in their countries free and dignified. They want their countries’ natural resources for them – oil, gas and water for the people; they want to make their own decisions. 

The falsehood is represented by the American hegemony and the American administration that wants to control and impose governments on peoples; to impose humiliating solutions that serve the interest of the Zionist enemy; to plunder oil and gas; and steal money directly and indirectly. The US represents this apparent falsehood, this clear falsehood.

Among the manifestations of the subjugation attempts and US hegemony on our region, peoples, and countries are the American policies towards occupied Palestine and the Palestinian people’s cause, the imposed war on Yemen six years ago (this war is primarily American with the Saudis and Emiratis being tools for fighting, spending money, buying weapons. But the real decision is an American one. Today, if the Americans want the war on Yemen to end, it will end. The Americans want this war to continue. The Saudis and the Emiratis are American tools. They carry out America’s desires and decisions.), the unjust blockade on Syria and the Caesar Act, the American occupation of a Syrian land east of the Euphrates and the direct plunder of oil fields by US companies, American support for authoritarian regimes in our region, foremost among which is the suffering of our people in Bahrain for many years, and the American impudence in dominating Iraq and plundering its resources under different pretexts.

Among the biggest manifestations of aggression, greed, and US interference in our region is the continuous aggression against Iran since the victory of the Islamic Revolution lead by His Eminence Imam Khomeini, wars, sanctions, blockades, regional and international complicity with a US administration and decision.

We are facing this conflict between the right – represented by these peoples, these governments, and the resistance movements, which we summarize as the axis of resistance – and the American falsehood that wants to dominate, control, plunder, and milk the money and good of our peoples and leave them in unemployment, ignorance, illiteracy, hunger, disease, fear, and anxiety,

On the tenth of Muharram, on the day of Karbala, from a doctrinal and religious position, we can only say that we can only be on the side of truth, on the side of the fighters for the truth and the defenders of truth in our region in the face of this American falsehood.

Contrary to the false numbers that some are spreading, we will triumph in this battle the way we triumphed in Lebanon and in Palestine during the past years; the way the steadfast and patient people in Yemen are achieving victory; the way Syria triumphed; the way Iraq achieved victory over Daesh and the takfiri terrorist organizations created by the US administration; and the way Iran was steadfast and achieved victory in its war. 

In our opinion, victory is in the future of this conflict – in first place Palestine and in its wider scope, the region. It is a matter of time. One of the important indicators of the strength of this axis is that during the past years it faced a global war in more than one country, arena, and field. Yet, it emerged victorious with its head held high. This is what will happen in the near future, God willing.

Second: The second point regarding the situation in the region. It is also my duty on the tenth of Muharram to say the truth no matter how high the prices. We condemn all attempts by any country, group, figure, class, party, and regime to recognize “Israel”, and we condemn any form of normalization with this enemy.

In this context, we reiterate our condemnation of the position of UAE officials and those who chose this option. Of course, as we said earlier, they moved from secret normalization to a public one. But look and learn a lesson, the “Israelis” did not allow some Emirati officials to save face. This showed the “Israeli” enemy’s arrogance and insolence. 

Some Emirati officials, for example, said that they took this step to prevent Netanyahu from annexing large parts of the West Bank. The “Israelis” did not even wait a few hours; Netanyahu invalidated their excuse and said the annexation is still on his government’s agenda.

He could have given them at least two to three days to pass the lie to their people, to the Arab people, and to Palestine and the Palestinian people; to sell them the lie; and make it seem like they made a great political achievement and got paid for the agreement. 

Of course, any agreement of this kind has no price, no matter how great it is. This is a betrayal. Whatever the price that they got in return, how so if there was no price? He (Netanyahu) did not allow them to save face – that is if they even had a face to show. He invalidated their claims more than once. He held a quick press conference and posted tweets on Twitter.

Moreover, the Emiratis have promoted that this agreement will open the door for the UAE, for example, to obtain F-35 aircraft and high-quality American weapons and technology. Netanyahu immediately declared that this is incorrect and not part of the deal, saying “Israel” will not accept to have the UAE acquire F-35s – knowing that Netanyahu, his masters, and his slaves are well aware that the F-35s will not be used by the UAE against the “Israeli” entity. However, “Israel” does not trust the UAE, any country in the region, or any people in the region. Its real guarantee is its strategic military superiority.

This is how the occupier deals with those who crawl towards it under the pretext of peace and normalization. They even said that we moved from the concept of ‘peace in return for the land’ to ‘peace in return for nothing,’ nothing at all except for humiliation and shame.

I mentioned previously and will repeat that what the UAE did is a free service to Trump in his worst political days. It is also a free service to Netanyahu in his worst political life. Anyway, this is a condemned position and it must be condemned. We will be asked about our condemnation of this position on Judgment Day about.

I turn to the Lebanese situation. In the Lebanese situation, we will present several points. 

1- The first point is the issue of the government. We assume and hope, God willing, that tomorrow during the parliamentary consultations, the Lebanese parliamentary blocs and deputies will be able to name a candidate who enjoys the required acceptance constitutionally to be mandated to form the new government. We pin high hopes on what will happen during these hours, which will be translated, God willing, tomorrow during the consultations.

We need a government capable of improving the economic, financial, and livelihood situation, reconstruction, and the completion of reforms. Reforms are a national demand, and they are everyone’s demand. We support going in reforms as far as possible. Of course, some hypocrites and liars in Lebanon say that Hezbollah poses as an obstacle to carrying out reforms. God willing, whether in naming the prime minister or forming a government, we will be cooperative and contribute to pulling the country out of the void that we have always rejected and warned against.

2- The second point: There are international calls from some countries in the world, both regional and domestic, to heed to the demands of the Lebanese people – the Lebanese people have demands, calling for a set of reforms: we want a government that expresses the Lebanese people’s will and represents them. 

Excellent, these are valid demands without discussion, regardless of the background from which these calls are based. But these are righteous words. Our desire in Lebanon as well as in all the region and the world, our desire is always to have a government and a state that express the desires and aspirations of our people and translate them in practical and realistic terms. But we must be clear and specific since there is a main misconception here. Someone may come from outside or from the inside and lay down or assume a group of demands, then say these are the demands of the Lebanese people. They may also assume a form of representation by themselves, then say this represents the Lebanese people.

Today, since we are talking about mains topics, I call for addressing this issue, meaning we all agree that any state, any government, any parliament, any judiciary, and any institution in our political system must heed to the demands of the Lebanese people and fulfill their hopes and aspirations. 

Regarding the Lebanese people and their aspirations and demands, it is clear who the Lebanese people are – unless we want to disagree in determining who the Lebanese people are. The Lebanese people are the Lebanese men and women in Lebanon and those abroad. There are no official statistics, but generally it is close to five million more or less between resident and expatriate. 

How do we identify and know the demands of the Lebanese people? Do we adopt the method of demonstrations as some are trying to adopt now? For example, if several hundred people took to the streets, in any area – Martyrs’ Square, anywhere in Lebanon – for one day or several days, held a sit-in, and put forward demands. Will these demands become the Lebanese people’s? If several thousand people took to the street and put forward a set of demands, are these the demands of the Lebanese people? If tens of thousands of people countered the aforementioned protests and put forward different demands, will these be expressing the aspirations of the Lebanese people? If another group of the Lebanese people were provoked, and in the face of the tens of thousands, a hundred thousand or hundreds of thousands came out, would these people be expressing the demands of the Lebanese people?

Do we use demonstrations and taking to the street as a mechanism for expressing and exploring the demands of the Lebanese people? Let us agree. If we agree on this mechanism, then we will all adopt it to express the demands and aspirations of the Lebanese people. Then the government, the state, and the international community must respect this mechanism, recognize it, defend it, and not deny it.

This is an example of a mechanism. Of course, I am not suggesting. 

Should we, for example, adopt a referendum, a popular referendum like in many democratic countries? The Lebanese always talk about Switzerland and that Lebanon is the Switzerland of the East. Well, Switzerland holds a popular referendum on main issues. 

Would you like us to adopt this mechanism and hold a referendum on the demands, aspirations, and hopes? There are people who do not accept the popular referendum and directly talk to you about the numerical majority and that it would not work in Lebanon, etc.

Would you, for example, adopt a reliable, scientific, multiple, intersecting, objective, and reliable opinion poll mechanism? Are there other mechanisms? We are ready to discuss whatever means you prefer. But this matter should be addressed in Lebanon so we all 
understand each other.

In Lebanon, we must define what our people want and what must be addressed in order to cut off the road to anyone who imposes demands and aspirations and says that they are the demands of the Lebanese people. You want to adopt the parliamentary elections, well, we made parliamentary elections based on the best possible law suitable for the Lebanese situation – the law of proportional representation. Opportunities were presented to everyone, and the current parliament won. And after a short period of time and very early on, there were calls for early parliamentary elections.

Well, what exactly do you want? My question today is to the political forces, to the religious authorities, to the judicial and media elites, and to the entire Lebanese people, a question even to the Lebanese people: What are the mechanisms that you, the Lebanese people, want to adopt in order to express your aspirations and hopes so the rulers, the ministers, the representatives, and the leaders in Lebanon as well as the countries in the world and the international community know them.

This issue needs a solution. This is not solved. No one in Lebanon, without exception, no religious authority can come out and say this is what the Lebanese people want.

How did you know? Did you conduct an opinion poll and asked the Lebanese people? Did you make a referendum? No political leader can come out and say this is the will of the Lebanese people, let alone someone who represents himself – even his wife might not believe in his political choices. 

No, not even us as a party can claim that we express the will of the entire Lebanese people even though the results of the elections and the facts state that we are the largest political party in Lebanon with more supporters than any other party or as a duo with the Amal movement, or with our other allies. We only express the will of those we represent.

Be honest and objective. This issue needs to be addressed so that we can set our country on the path towards a proper and correct cure. When the government is mentioned, who said that the Lebanese people, for example, want a neutral government, a technocratic government, a political government, or a technopolitical government? There is no solution. Yes, there is one solution – if we consider that the elections express the opinion of the Lebanese people and that the parliamentary majority, for example, is call for a certain type government, then we can say that this government is what the majority of the Lebanese people is demanding.

3- The third point: We heard a call from the French president, on his recent visit to Lebanon, for a new political era in the country. In the past few days, we heard from French official sources sharp criticism of the sectarian system in Lebanon, and that this system is no longer capable of solving Lebanon’s problems and responding to its needs. I would like to say today that we are open to any calm discussion in this field, to reach a new political era, but we have a condition – this debate and this national dialogue should take place in line with the will and consent of the various Lebanese factions. Thus, if there are people who fear that a debate will take place or fear heading towards a new political era, then we must respect these concerns.

It is good, that a hundred years after the establishment of the current Lebanese entity and the state of Greater Lebanon, for the Lebanese to sit down and discuss this matter. But I have a remark on the appearance of the suggestion and its content. This reveals a problem in the Lebanese political culture and the Lebanese political mentality. 

Let us assume that a Lebanese religious authority, a political authority, one of the three leaders, a group of MPs, or a Lebanese party called for a new political era. What would have happened in the country? They would have been accused of blasphemy, not being patriotic, agents, and someone serving a certain project. The matter will then take a sectarian dimension, etc. 

I remember a few years ago – I did not talk about a new political era; a new political era means starting from the beginning – I spoke about a founding conference to develop the Taif Agreement, to develop an existing political era. We remember at the time the reactions of some parties and authorities. Then, later I spoke and retracted it. 

The point is that this matter reveals a problem in the Lebanese political culture and mentality. When this suggestion comes from outside, from any president or another country, even if we respect his ideas and endeavors, you find the whole country silent. No one is objecting. No one was accused. The matter did not take a certain dimension. Of course, if the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran or the Syrian president called the Lebanese to a new political era, what would have happened in the country? Some countries are classified as friends, and even those who disagree with them, the latter deals with them with respect, just as we do.

This, of course, is a problem in the Lebanese political life and mentality. Thank God, there is someone who came from somewhere in the world and the people in Lebanon did not comment negatively on what he proposed, and thus opening the door for such discussions. This debate should be opened some day.
4- The fourth point: The explosion in the port of Beirut. We emphasize the firm judicial follow-up, and we talked about this at the beginning. It should not diminish or weaken with time, and officials, especially in the judiciary, must pursue this matter without political accounts and courtesies. The blood of the martyrs, the wounded, the unknown fate of the missing people, and the suffering of people should not be lost or forgotten. We emphasize on speeding up compensation for people so that they can return to their homes. We also call on the competent authorities, specifically the Lebanese army since it is the one that carried out the technical investigation and sought the help of experts from abroad, to announce the results of the technical investigation.

Here, I am not talking about the judicial investigation – who is responsible, which director, minister, head of department. This is another matter related to the judiciary. But there should be something that has been accomplished or at being concluded. If it is accomplished, we hope it will be announced. If it’s being wrapped up, we hope that it will end and be announced.

Let the debate and fabrications in the country be resolved. We ask the technical investigation to tell us whether there were in Warehouse 12, in other hangars, or in the whole port of Beirut, missiles, weapons, or ammunition. Let it say that. Announcing this matter will end the lies and will cut off slanderous tongues, which have worked on this topic for days and are still working on it despite the clarity of the issue. But there is insistence on this matter.

Also, regarding the issue of the ammonium nitrate, because when it became known that there were no missiles, ammunition, or weapons, or any such nonsense, and since it was known who brought the ammonium nitrate, they change their story – the ammonium nitrate belongs to Hezbollah, they brought them in, the ship belongs to Hezbollah, the bank is for Hezbollah. The same lies. 

Any Lebanese or anyone from the Gulf can simply pay a foreign newspaper some money to write an article with some information. Then some Lebanese with their media outlets can quote a certain newspaper in the world and say that the ammonium nitrate was so and so. We hope the authorities concerned with the investigation, the Lebanese army in particular, resolve this issue and announce the results.

Of course, there is a second matter that will follow, and we must follow up on it. We will follow up on it. I will talk about the resistance since the president, the Free Patriotic movement, and everyone else is defending themselves. Is it reasonable, for example, that a TV station creates an atmosphere during sensitive and emotional times for days on end, convincing a stratum that this devastating and thunderous blast is caused by Hezbollah, Hezbollah’s missiles, and Hezbollah’s weapons?

If it turns out that this talk is baseless, does it mean forgive and forget? Thus, anyone can create a hateful and ugly atmosphere in the country with this level of distortion, incitement, and injustice. And it ends as if nothing happened. Aren’t there government agencies that should follow up on this matter? It just so happens that the government has resigned, but there are judicial bodies that must follow up on the matter. There are concerned parties in Lebanon that must follow up on this issue. 

It is important for people to hold these lying TV stations accountable. People should hold them accountable because people are being affected – their minds, hearts, and emotions. False convictions and positions are built on these lies. In the end, this is the fate of a country.

5- The fifth point: We have the anniversary of the second liberation in the Bekaa after the first liberation in the south in May 2000. We remember the suffering of our people in the Bekaa, especially in Baalbek-Hermel in the adjacent villages that were facing attacks by takfiri groups as well as the dangers and constant threats of storming these villages. Some suicide operations and bomb attacks took place here. There were also some explosive devices that were discovered.

We also recall these takfiri groups’ blatant aggression against the Lebanese army and the security forces; they kidnapped and killed officers and soldiers of the Lebanese army and the security forces; the humiliation they practiced via the media outlets available to them. All of this existed for years. However, the decisive response from the beginning came from the people and the resistance because the Lebanese army was committed to defense. It did not attack due to the absence of the political decision that came later during the Jaroud Operation. 

The decisive response and the last decisive battle were a new victory created by the equation: the army, the people, and the resistance. We always provide credibility for this proposition through achievements on the field. The second liberation, similar to the first, is one of the achievements on the field.

Yelling, complaining, and crying would not have liberated our barrens in the Bekaa. Our towns in the villages of Baalbek-Hermel, whose inhabitants are varied, would not have been aided because we have a sectarian composition in the country. The golden equation: the army, the people, and the resistance, is the one that protected, defended, liberated, and brought about security.

On this anniversary, as I said a few nights ago, it is our duty to thank the martyrs, the families of the martyrs, the wounded, all the fighters of the Islamic Resistance, the fighters in Hezbollah, the officers and soldiers of the Lebanese army, and the officers and soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army. I also mentioned some of the forces in the Syrian militia that fought with us in the Qalamoun region on the second side of the Jaroud.
All of them made efforts, gave blood, got wounded, and made sacrifices, and some were martyred so that we can get to where we are now. There is also the diverse popular environment that has adopted this option. 

I will simply tell you that there were people in the Jaroud that opposed their political leaderships’ choices. All the people in those villages demanded that the battle against the takfiri groups be resolved. The people did not see the militants as rebels or a reform movement. They saw them as a group of takfiri terrorist and killers.

Today, we must issue a warning again since there is a daily attempt to re-produce Daesh in Iraq. There are security operations in Syria. There is an attempt to re-produce Daesh in the east of the Euphrates, most probably in the Jazira region that leads to the al-Sokhna and Palmyra. The Syrian army and its various allies in the Jazira region are fighting these groups that are being regenerated. They are, in fact, defending the security of Syria and defending Lebanon, its borders, and hills.

Unfortunately, if one day these militants were able to reach Palmyra again, surely these barrens and these sites would be one of the places they would want to seize.

In fact, we must be aware. On the second liberation day, we must value all those who are fighting today in the Jazira region in defense of Syria, Lebanon, and the whole region.

6- The sixth point: We will follow up on all the options and proposals that we previously talked about to address the economic, financial, and life situations in Lebanon with the new government, which we hope will be formed quickly. And there are steps that have been taken regarding the agricultural-industrial jihad and popular efforts to confront any attempt to starve that we announced. There are steps that will be followed up on. We must continue this work – set programs and cooperate at the national level, government and people, because this is a great challenge facing the Lebanese people.

7- The seventh point: We have the anniversary of the kidnapping of His Eminence the leader Imam Musa Al-Sadr and his two companions and dear brothers, His Eminence Sheikh Muhammad Yaqoub and Mr. Abbas Badruddin, may God return them to their families and to their homeland safely.

This is a comprehensive national anniversary of what Imam Sayyed Musa al-Sadr represented not only at the Shiite level, but also at the national and Islamic levels. This cause belongs to all of us. 

Imam al-Sadr is the imam of the resistance. He drew for all of us a clear path and approach to the conflict with the Zionist enemy and the manner in dealing with national issues and issues of the region.

On the anniversary of his kidnapping, we affirm that we all in Hezbollah and in the Amal movement belong to this great imam, his mind, his soul, his thought, his path, and his approach. On the anniversary of his forced absence, we emphasize two things: 

The first thing is the depth of the relationship between Hezbollah and the Amal Movement – the cooperation, coordination, and integration between them. This is in our opinion and contrary to the desires of many in the country. 

Contrary to the desires of many in the country, this relationship, in our opinion, is what always achieves the most important and greatest interest of Lebanon, which is protecting Lebanon through the equation of the army, the people, and the resistance. It also serves many national interests.

Some unfortunate, sad, and painful events that take place between young people here and there, in this town or that place – thank God, some of these events take place within long intervals, not in succession – are condemned and rejected. The youth must face them consciously. 

But certainly, due to the trust and the strong and mutual relationship between the leaders of the Amal Movement and Hezbollah, we can overcome even these unfortunate events and overcome them consciously, responsibly, and firmly. We have to cut off the road to all those who hope and are betting on a strife between the brothers.

The second thing is that we in Hezbollah have always been and will always be supportive of the leadership of the Amal Movement, the Supreme Islamic Shia Council, the family of Imam Sayyed Musa al-Sadr and the families of His Eminence Sheikh Muhammad Yaqoub and Mr. Abbas Badruddin, i.e. supportive of all families, in all the steps that they have taken or might take in following up on their case. 

We are by their side and support them because they are the ones who are bearing the responsibility and took on this responsibility. And this is a very natural thing. We are by their side. We put ourselves at their disposal in all that can be asked of us in this regard.

8- The eighth point: Here I will speak clearly. I left it for the last for the “Israelis” and for the people to have a clear understanding of our position and the situation on the southern border with occupied Palestine. Several weeks ago, “Israeli” air raids on the vicinity of Damascus airport lead to the martyrdom of a number of martyrs including our brother and mujahid martyr Kamel Mohsen. We are committed to an equation, and we have always applied this equation and are keen on applying it. Our goal is not revenge in the true sense of the word. Our goal is to punish the killers and to establish the balance of deterrence for protection. This manner has been adopted since 2006.

We only issued a statement and said that martyr brother Ali Kamel Mohsen was martyred as a result of an “Israeli” raid on Damascus airport. We only said that, and we did not say anything else.

The “Israelis” on their own stood on a foot and a half. The “Israelis” know perfectly well, and this of course is one of the resistance’s achievements. The “Israelis” deal with arrogance and aggression with entire regimes and armies, but it deals with the resistance in a different way. This did not come as a result of words and speeches. This was the result of 38 years of sacrifices, jihad, perseverance, achievements, and victories, while the “Israelis” were dealt disappointments, defeats, as well as military and security failures.

On their own – to summarize the situation – stood on foot and a half along the borders from the sea to the Golan heights, not only on the Lebanese borders, but also on the Syrian border with occupied Palestine. 

The “Israelis” carried out all the measures that you know. They evacuated military sites – if you go there now, you’ll find that they’ve been evacuated. Meanwhile, there are sites that were not evacuated, but the soldiers there are in hiding. The patrols were canceled completely. Sometimes, a patrol quickly passes and exceptionally in places if they felt that there was no movement for the resistance. The “Israelis” started sending unmanned vehicles and putting dummies dressed as “Israeli” soldiers in them like last year. It is as if they are telling us to target this vehicle. Then a helicopter and an ambulance will come and put the soldiers in stretchers. By doing so, they think they fooled us. It’s like, O Hezbollah, what do you want? You want to kill a soldier, well you have. Isn’t this what they are doing? This is what the “Israelis” are doing now.

Yesterday, you saw on television how they brought a walking robot and put a dummy on it for us to assume it was a soldier and that this is an opportunity.
These measures are still in place and have been in place for weeks. This is part of the punishment. This is an army that considers itself the most powerful army in the region as opposed to the resistance in Lebanon. Yes, I tell you that it is standing on a foot and a half on all the borders. They are anxious. The measures are not only taken along the border, but also behind it – they check who enters the settlements and who leaves; checkpoints are set up; training programs are disrupted; maneuver programs are disrupted; artillery groups and troops are deployed; the Iron Dome is on high alert awaiting the resistance. The “Israelis” know that this resistance has credibility and is serious.

When something happens along the border, “they think that every shout is against them,” as we said in the statement. If they sensed a certain movement at a certain point, they begin bombing the perimeter of their posts in the Shebaa Farms, in the Manara point, i.e. facing Meiss Ej Jabal and Aitaroun, and in the western sector area.

This reflects a state of confusion, anxiety, and panic among the “Israelis”. Why would they bomb sites? They are supposed to have information and control over the information. They are supposed to be alert or have information in any case.

Today, I want to be clear about this. Up to this point, we consider everything that has happened since the martyrdom of our brother to be a part of the retribution. We are convinced of that. But I would like to be clearer for the benefit of the people in Lebanon who follow us, as well as for the “Israelis”. If we wanted to respond just in order to raise the morale or for media consumption, we would have retaliated on the first day. Let me go into details. Simply put, there are “Israeli” posts in Shebaa Farms and even along the border. as far as we are concerned, this matter is over. At one point, we used to distinguish between the Shebaa Farms and the border. The Shebaa Farms are occupied Lebanese territory, and nobody should dispute our right to resist. But when the “Israelis” attack, there is no longer a distinction between the Shebaa Farms and the international border. We concluded this matter the last time.

Quite simply, the men of the resistance could have hit a military post with a group of rockets, hitting some fortifications and some installations. Then, we could have filmed this and sent it to all media outlets. And Allah Akbar… and this would have been our response to the martyrdom of our brother. But no “Israeli” soldier would have been killed or wounded. 

It is also possible that “Israelis” might do what they did in the Shebaa Farms incident – they put the ladder for us so we can get down from the top of the tree. They can bring helicopters and stretchers and pretend to show wounded people the wat they did at the time of the Avivim barracks incident. Then everything is over.

This was not our goal. We are not looking to win points in the media or to just raise the morale. We want to set a certain equation, and today, I will be franker about this equation than any time in the past.

Let the “Israelis” understand: When you kill one of our mujahideen, we will kill someone your soldiers. That’s it. This is the equation. It is not that you kill one of us, and we bomb a post, hills, bunkers, some iron and tin installations. They have lots of money. They can replace these objects. This is not the one that will create a balance of deterrence with “Israel”.  

The “Israelis” know – this is the first time I speak bluntly – that we are not looking for success in the media or for a photo-op. They know that we are looking for an “Israeli” soldier to kill. This is why they are hiding all their soldiers. They are hiding like mice.

This is the resistance’s point of strength. This is not a point of weakness. This is not a failure. The accuracy is that the resistance is not here to spill its anger or seeking to do a consumer work. 

The resistance is serious in accomplishing this mission. The “Israelis” are hoping for anything to happen so that things return to normal in the north of occupied Palestine and their done with it. This matter is not like this to us. During the last incident a few days ago, more than one flare bomb was thrown, and phosphorous bombs set fire to places – unfortunately, shells hit some homes and an agricultural institution called “Green Without Borders” – but praise be to God, no one was injured or martyred. There were only material damages.

We did not engage in gun battle because, honestly, this is what the “Israelis” wanted – they attacked our front and we retaliated. They burned some trees, and we did the same thing. And that’s it. 

We feel that this wastes the blood of our martyr and the equation of deterrence. What the “Israelis” did a few days ago as well as a few weeks ago when a missile mistakenly hit a house in al-Habbariya are all recorded in the account. Settling this is coming. We consider this a categorical and decisive decision. It is only a matter of time and place. We are not in a hurry or wrecking our nerves – is it going to be today or tomorrow? 

We do not consider it a weakness if the response was late because we could not find a target that would achieve the objective. In the end, how long will you stay in your burrows? How long? A week, two weeks, a month, two months, three months? Regardless of the duration, time is not a pressing matter to us. No one is pressing us with time either. 

Eventually, you will go out on the road and we will meet you. We will set this equation. All the threats by Netanyahu, Gantz, and the Chief of Staff Kochavi will not prevent us from setting the achievement that was enshrined by the blood of thousands of martyrs.

9- The last point: Just a few words regarding the coronavirus. The number in Lebanon is spiking, unfortunately. Every day, the number is going above 650 cases. The decision to close is not being implemented. Of course, there is a resigned government whose circumstances are difficult. Even if a new government is formed, I do not know to what extent we will be able to handle this matter.

On the other hand, closing is difficult. Shop owners, restaurant owners, and hoteliers are protesting. People need to go to work. Thus, there is a method which is adopted today in the world, but it requires commitment. It does not require closure, and people can go to work and making a living. 

There are two words circulating in the whole world: social distancing. Can we abide by social distancing or not? Can we commit to wearing masks or not? 

Hence, social distancing and wearing a mask. One of the knowledgeable doctors says: the mask, the mask, and the mask. In any case, the results of the vaccine have not appeared so far, and this situation may continue for months and years. So, what do we do? Today, hospitals, directors, and officials in Lebanon say that we no longer have the capacity to receive patients, and the number of deaths is increasing every day. Do we need a calamity to happen in order for people to wake up? Why isn’t there commitment? Can’t we get married without a wedding part? Yes, we can. 

Can we console each other over the phone and on social media? Yes, we can. The dearest thing to us this year was the month of Ramadan, and we were committed [to the measures]. Marking the nights of Ashura was the dearest thing to us, and we were committed. Can we commit to the measures during other occasions? In our behavior and our life? We can do that. Today, this is a very great responsibility, I repeat and say that has to do with religion, the Hereafter, and the question on the Day of Resurrection. This is a religious duty. It is not a desirable act and leaving it is undesirable. This is a religious duty that means neglecting it is a sin, for which a person will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection. This is speaking from a religious standpoint. If we want to speak from a humanitarian and moral standpoint as well as from our responsibility towards our families and others around us, we must resolve this issue. So, what can we do?

Should we, for example, beg you, plead with you, kiss your hands? O people, for your safety, for the safety of the country, and for the safety of all residents of this country. There should be a different sense of responsibility.

Since we are talking about the tenth day, I would like to conclude by talking about Hussein (PBUH). We were hurt that this year we did not have the chance to attend mourning ceremonies. From now, we must commit to the coronaviruss measures to get rid of this pandemic in Lebanon so that we can take part in mourning ceremonies next year. 

If there was still a pandemic, our performance to commit to the measures would make controlling it easier. What is the gateway by which we can use to tell people: O our family, our loved ones, and our people, please abide by social distancing, the mask, and disinfecting? 

I ask God Almighty to keep everyone in good health.

In conclusion, on Ashura, on the tenth day, we renew our commitment and pledge to our imam by continuing this path. We will keep telling him no matter how long “Labaik ya Hussein! [I am here, O Hussein!].”

No matter how great the sacrifices are, “Labaik ya Hussein!” With our blood, our tears, our remains, our cries, our patience, our grievances, our estrangement, our hopes and our pain, our cry will remain “Labaik ya Hussein!”

No Yazid in this world could cut us of from Hussein, from the truth for which Hussein was martyred, and from attending jihad arenas for the sake of the truth that Hussain called us to stand for. No one will ever be able to. We will remain Hussainis and people of Karbala and Ashura. We will carry this thought, this culture, this loyalty and sincerity, and this constant willingness to sacrifice souls, money, children, and dear ones for the sake of the truth that we believe in.

Peace be upon you, O my master and my lord, O Aba Abdullah and upon souls that gathered in your courtyard. Peace be upon you from me forever as long as I am existent and as long as there are day and night. May Allah not decide this time of my visit to you both to be the last. Peace be upon Hussein, Ali bin Al Hussein, the children of Hussein, and the companions of Hussein.

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all. May God Almighty bless you, better your consolation, and reward you.
 

أكثر من تسمية… خطوة نحو التسوية

ناصر قنديل

التوافق الذي أظهرته تسمية الرئيس المكلف تشكيل الحكومة الجديدة الدكتور مصطفى أديب، وانطلاق التسمية من منصة رؤساء حكومات سابقين يصعب تلاقيهما على المشاركة بتسمية توافقية تحظى بقبول الغالبية النيابية وفي قلبها حزب الله، وتالياً العهد الرئاسيّ للعماد ميشال عون، من دون وجود موافقة خارجية تتخطى حدود باريس لتحطّ رحالها في الرياض وواشنطن، خصوصاً مع تولي الرئيس السابق للحكومة فؤاد السنيورة تلاوة التسمية تأكيداً للمشاركة فيها، وتزامن التوافق مع زيارة الرئيس الفرنسي أمانويل ماكرون الثانية إلى بيروت، بعد تحديد واضح لمضمون المبادرة الفرنسية، بقيامها على دعوة المكوّنات السياسية والطائفية إلى التعاون من ضمن حكومة جديدة تعمل على خطة إنقاذ مالي واقتصادي، والدعوة لوضع القضايا الخلافيّة جانباً، في توقيت كانت القوى الحليفة لباريس وواشنطن والرياض قد أعلنت رفضها الشراكة في حكومة في ظل عهد الرئيس ميشال عون، ولا تعتبر مهمتها المحورية مواجهة سلاح المقاومة، باعتباره المشكلة الرئيسية في البلد، ضمن خطة للتصعيد شقت صفوف مكونات الحراك الشعبي حول الموقف من سلاح المقاومة، ووضعت في إطار الخطة استقالات متتالية للنواب تمهيداً لانتخابات نيابية مبكرة كانت تأمل بنقل الأغلبية النيابية خلالها إلى صفوف معاكسة للغالبية الراهنة، وتعتبر أنها بذلك تلاقي التوجهات التي تلتقي عليها العواصم الثلاث باريس وواشنطن والرياض.

تلقت القوى التي لا تزال تعزف اللحن القديم صفعة عجزها عن التقاط حجم التغيير الحاصل في مراكز القرار، وذهب بعضها للإيحاء بأن هناك تفرّداً فرنسياً من خارج التفاهم مع واشنطن والرياض متجاهلين أن فرنسا لا تملك مقومات التفرد بهذا الحجم وتنجح، وأن حجم التوافق يتخطى التفرد الفرنسي، خصوصاً الإشارة التي يقدمها منتدى رؤساء الحكومات السابقين، وبات واضحاً أن هناك اتفاقاً خارجياً داخلياً على تجديد الشراكة التي كانت قائمة منذ اتفاق الطائف، وبدأت تهتزّ منذ العام 2000 بعد تحرير الجنوب وفشل المفاوضات السوريّة الإسرائيليّة، بالتزامن مع بدء حروب المحافظين الجدد، وترنّحت هذه الشراكة إقليمياً خلال خمس سنوات وانتهت بالقرار 1559 واغتيال الرئيس رفيق الحريري، لتتحوّل حرباً في 2006، وحرباً أكبر شهدتها سورية منذ العام 2011، وبلغت الذروة في دفع لبنان نحو الانهيار، مع تجفيف كل موارده وفرصه في الاستقراض، أملاً بجعل سلاح المقاومة موضوعاً أوّلَ على طاولة التفاوض، وجاءت مخاطر هذا التوجه لتثبت تباعاً تهوره من وجهة نظر المصالح الغربية بما يتيحه من سلوك بدائل تملأ الفراغ الناجم عن التخلي الغربي عن لبنان، كما قال ماكرون علناً، في تفسير ما قاله للأميركيين، مكرراً دعوة وزير ماليته لفصل مسار تعافي لبنان عن المواجهة الأميركية عن إيران، كما ظهرت المخاطر الأمنيّة على ضفاف المتوسط، وبرز الحضور التركي المنافس وبنسبة أكبر الحضور الصيني.

خطوة تسمية الرئيس مصطفى أديب، تتخطّى مجرد الاتفاق على اسم رئيس مكلف بتشكيل الحكومة، وتفتح الباب للانتقال من التسمية إلى التسوية، حيث للتسوية أبعاد داخلية وخارجية، فمن الثابت استحالة تعويم النظام السابق سياسياً واقتصادياً، ونضوج لبنان للانتقال إلى نظام سياسي قاعدته قانون انتخاب خارج القيد الطائفي وإنشاء مجلس للشيوخ، كما نضوجه لنظام اقتصادي يعتمد على الإنتاج، وخارجياً سيصعب تخيّل نجاح المبادرة الفرنسية ومعها الحكومة الجديدة دون الالتفات إلى حجم الترابط بين الوضعين اللبناني والسوري، واستحالة تحقيق التقدم دون الانفتاح الفرنسي على سورية، وتعبيد طريق العلاقة بين الحكومتين اللبنانية والسورية كحاجة ملحّة في كل صعيد.

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

لا مخرج من حال الاستعصاء إلا بمؤتمر تأسيسي

د. عصام نعمان

بقلم / د. عصام نعمان | سما برس

أزمة لبنان المزمنة باتت في حال استعصاء. فهي تعيد إنتاج نفسها على مرّ الزمن بأشكال وألوان مختلفة. ما ان يفرغ الشركاء في المنظومة الحاكمة من مواجهة تحدٍّ حتى ينبري لهم آخر. غير انّ أصعب التحديات ذلك الذي يصنعه أحد الشركاء لإضعاف زملائه. هو الأصعب لأنّ أهل الدار أدرى بخفاياها.

أهل الدار هم الشركاء الأقوى في المنظومة الحاكمة. ما ان هنأوا أنفسهم بإخفاق معارضيهم من أصدقاء الغرب في استغلال الانفجار الهيروشيماوي في مرفأ بيروت لتحميلهم وحدهم مسؤولية الكارثة وصولاً الى إجلائهم عن سدة السلطة حتى وجدوا أنفسهم على خلاف مع شركائهم بشأن ما يقتضي عمله بعد الكارثة.

الخلاف بين الشركاء ليس على مسألة بقائهم في السلطة بل على كيفية تسويق ذلك بين اللبنانيين الذين يضعون جميع أهل السلطة في سلّة واحدة باستثناء حزب الله بما هو حزب المقاومة. حتى حزب الله لا يسلم من النقد لسكوته على تجاوزات بعض حلفائه.

اللبنانيون الساخطون، وهم الغالبية، اندفعوا إلى الشوارع والساحات منادين بضرورة إقصاء أهل النظام الفاسد. ظاهر الحال انّ موازين القوى لا تسمح، بعدُ، بذلك. من هنا ينهض سؤال: ما العمل الآن؟

إذا كان إسقاط النظام الطوائفي الفاسد وأهله مطلوب ومشروع فإنّ تحقيقه متعذر في الحاضر والمستقبل المنظور. لذا فإنّ المسار الفاعل والأمن يتمثّل بتأجيج الانتفاضة الشعبية ضدّ أهل النظام الفاسدين لإكراههم على التسليم بأنّ نظامهم تآكل وانهار وأنهم عاجزون عن تعويمه وإصلاحه، وأنه يجدر بهم عدم المكابرة والإقرار تالياً بالواقع والقبول بتقصير زمن المحنة.

أما أهل الإنتفاضة فإنهم مطالَبون بالتعقّل إذ لا جدوى من طرح شعاراتٍ غير واقعية وغير قادرين على تحقيقها. لذا يقتضي ان يُقرنوا حملتهم ضدّ النظام الطوائفي الفاسد بطرح طريق لتغييره سلماً وتدريجاً لأنّ استخدام العنف بدعوى تسريع الإصلاح في مجتمع تعدّدي، كحال لبنان، يؤدي الى إندلاع حرب أهلية. أليس هذا ما حدث سنة 1975 وتحوّل الى حرب أهلية استمرّت حتى سنة 1990؟

يطرح بعض أهل القرار المستنيرين فكرة المؤتمر التأسيسي كمخرج من حال الاستعصاء وطريق لتحقيق التغيير والإصلاح سلمياً. هذه الفكرة سيف ذو حدّين. فهي جيدة من حيث اعتماد الحوار طريقاً للتوافق الوطني والإصلاح الديمقراطي، لكنها ملغومة من حيث هي وسيلة بأيدي أهل النظام الطوائفي الفاسد للتحكّم بتسمية أعضاءٍ للمؤتمر التأسيسي من بطانتهم وحواشيهم بقصد أن تأتي توصياته خادمةً لمصالحهم. أليس هذا ما انتهت اليه تجارب طاولات الحوار في القصور والسرايات؟

نعم، المؤتمر التأسيسي هو المخرج الأمثل من حال الإستعصاء التي تراوح فيها أزمة لبنان المزمنة. غير انّ نجاحه مشروط بكيفية تأليفه. وعلى هذا الصعيد، فإنّ الديمقراطية هي بالتأكيد البوابة والطريق. كيف؟

يتحدث بعض أهل القرار في هذه الآونة عن ضرورة تأليف حكومة وطنية جامعة من سياسيين واختصاصيين مستقلين تكون بمثابة قاطرة للإنقاذ وطليعة كاشفة لطريق التغيير والإصلاح. حسناً، في مقدور مثل هذه الحكومة، في مرحلة انتقالية، القيام بالمبادرات والإجراءات الآتية:

(أ) مبادرة رئيس حكومة الإنقاذ بالتعاون مع مجموعة من أهل الاختصاص في صفوف القوى الوطنية والتقدمية وتنظيمات المجتمع المدني المستقلة والوازنة الى الاجتماع للتوافق، في مهلة شهر واحد، على مشروع قانون للانتخابات يراعي أحكام الدستور، لا سيما المادة 22 (مجلس نواب على أساس وطني لاطائفي ومجلس شيوخ لتمثيل الطوائف) والمادة 27 («عضو مجلس النواب يمثل الأمة جمعاء» ما يستوجب الدائرة الوطنية الواحدة) والمادة 95 («إلغاء الطائفية السياسية وفق خطة مرحلية») وخفض سن الإقتراع الى الثامنة عشرة تجاوباً مع الإصلاحات المنصوص عليها في وثيقة الوفاق الوطني (الطائف) وغيرها من المبادرات الإصلاحية.

(ب) إعلان مشروع قانون الانتخابات الديمقراطي المتوافَق عليه وإحالته على كلٍّ من مجلس الوزراء، ومجلس النواب، وقوى الانتفاضة الشعبية ليُصار إلى إقراره في مجلس النواب في مهلةٍ أقصاها شهر واحد، وإذا امتنع المجلس او أخفق في ذلك لأيّ سبب كان، يُصار الى تبنّيه من قِبَل قوى الانتفاضة الشعبية المعبّأة والمستعدة لإطلاق وتفعيل ضغوط شعبية عارمة على الحكومة بغية طرحه بمرسوم جمهوري على استفتاء شعبي عام لإقراره وبالتالي لاعتماده وتنفيذ أحكامه عملاً بنظرية الظروف الإستثنائية التي تستوجب تدبيراً استثنائياً في حال نشوء ظرف استثنائي، وهو حال البلاد قبل كارثة 4 آب وبعدها.

(جـ) إجراء انتخابات عامة وفق مشروع قانون الانتخابات آنف الذكر بغية توليد أول مجلس نواب يؤمّن صحة التمثيل الشعبي وعدالته، فيشكّل بحدّ ذاته مؤتمراً تأسيسياً لإعادة بناء لبنان دولةً ووطناً.

هل كثير على القوى الوطنية والتقدمية، كما على المستنيرين من أهل القرار، اعتماد هذا النهج الديمقراطي خلال مرحلةٍ انتقالية للوصول الى المؤتمر التأسيسي كمخرج آمن من حال الاستعصاء التي تأسر البلاد والعباد؟

وزير سابق

أزمة لبنان أزمة نظام… فما الحلّ؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

حدث الانفجار – الزلزال في بيروت، في الوقت الذي كان يعيش لبنان فيه أزمة معقدة، ازمه أنتجها نظام سياسي مولد للكوارث منذ أن اعتمد لحكم لبنان في العام 1920، وجاء الانفجار الكارثي نتيجة لهذا النظام انفجار عمق الأزمة ولم يكن هو سببها بل جلّ ما فعله الانفجار فضلاً عن الكوارث البشرية والمالية والاقتصادية التي أنزلها بهذا الوطن والشعب، انه أماط اللثام جذرياً عن قبح هذا النظام واظهر عدم صلاحيته للاستمرار.

بيد أنّ العقلاء المتبصّرين لم يكونوا بحاجة إلى مثل هذه الكارثة حتى يقفوا على بشاعة هذا النظام ووهنه وعجزه عن إدارة دولة، لكن المنتفعين من النظام كانوا يتمسكون به ولا زالوا يرفضون أي تغيير او إصلاح فيه لأنهم يرونه الطريق السريع السهل والآمن لتكوين الثروات واستعباد الناس وبناء الإمبراطوريات والمحميّات المالية والشعبية.

وبمراجعة بسيطة لمواقف سجلت في هذا الموضوع نجد على سبيل المثال دعوة الأمام السيد موسى الصدر في أوائل السبعينيات إلى مراجعة النظام من اجل تحقيق العدالة فيه حيث قال «اعدلوا قبل أن تجدوا دولتكم في مزابل التاريخ»، كما نجد مواقف الأحزاب الوطنية والعلمانية التي دعت إلى بناء الدولة المدنية دولة المواطن وليس فيدرالية الطوائف. وقبل سنوات أطلق السيد حسن نصرالله دعوته إلى مؤتمر تأسيسي لمراجعة النظام وتطويره لإقامة الدولة القادرة العادلة، وقبل أشهر أطلق المفتي الجعفري الممتاز الشيخ أحمد قبلان دعوته إلى نظام سياسي يحاكي الواقع ويحفظ الحقوق التي عجز عن حمايتها نظام الطائف وقبله صيغة الـ 1943 التي سقطت.

وقبل الانفجار بأيام أطلق البطريرك الراعي دعوته لحياد لبنان، ورغم أنه راجع موقفه وأعطى نظريته أكثر من تفسير، فإننا نرى انّ الدعوة بحدّ ذاتها جاءت نوعاً من الدعوة إلى مراجعة الدستور والنظام لأنّ للحياد مقتضبات لا يؤمّنها الدستور الحالي واعتمادها يفرض التعديل.

أما القنبلة التي صعقت معظم الرافضين للإصلاح أو مراجعة النظام خاصة الفئات التي تتمسك بنظام الطائف، فقد كانت الدعوة التي أطلقها رئيس فرنسا في زيارته المفاجئة إلى لبنان بعد الانفجار – الكارثة حيث دعا إلى عقد سياسي جديد أيّ بكلّ بساطة نظام سياسي جديد يلبي مقتضيات الواقع ويسدّ الثغرات ويقطع الطريق على انفجار سياسي وفوضى تعقبه تعطل البلاد وتهدر الحقوق بعد ان تطيح بالأمن والسلامة العامة.

من خلال هذا العرض نصل لرسم صورة يكاد يكون فيها الإجماع قد تحقق حول فكرة عجز النظام السياسي اللبناني القائم حالياً عن تحقيق ما يصبو اليه الشعب اللبناني ما يفرض البحث الجدي عن نظام مناسب يتمّ اعتماده بالقبول والرضى من أكثرية الشعب اللبناني، لاعتقادنا بأنّ الإجماع هنا صعب التحقق، وقد يكون أجماعاً على المبادئ العامة والشعارات كالقول مثلا «الدولة القوية العادلة» لكن ما ان تأتي إلى التفسير والتفصيل حتى يظهر الخلاف والتباين، لأن العدل عند البعض يكون عدلاً حسابياً يمكن من إرساء المساواة بين الأفراد أياً كان معتقد الفرد ويقيم دولة المواطن، بينما مفهوم العدل عند آخرين هو عدل كمّي نوعي بين الطوائف يقيم المساواة بينها أيّاً كان حجم الواحدة منها. هذا مثل وعليه يمكن أن يقاس الكثير…

في ظل هذه المخاوف من العجز على الاتفاق تطرح أسئلة حول المخارج الممكنة من الأزمة التي وضعت لبنان أمام مأزق وجودي، فهل يكون الحلّ كما هي بعض الطروحات الآن متمثلاً باستقالة الحكومة؟ أو بإقفال مجلس النواب؟ أو بانتخابات نيابية مبكرة؟ او بوصاية دولية على لبنان تبدأ بوضع اليد على التحقيق بالانفجار ثم تتوسّع لتصبح انتداباً سياسياً كما سمعنا في الشارع الذي استقبل ماكرون مؤخراً؟

إنّ الذين يروّجون لهذه الأفكار يعملون عن قصد أو غير قصد لإعادة إنتاج النظام والعودة إلى نظام المآسي ونراهم في ذلك منفصلين عن الواقع يقولون الشيء وعكسه، من دون أن يدركوا أن طلبهم يقود إلى أحد وضعين في ظل ما هو قائم الآن، أما الشلل والتعطيل الذي يقود إلى الفوضى وإكمال الانهيار ومنع قيامة لبنان الدولة أو إعادة إنتاج الوضع المزري في ظل النظام القائم من دون أي نتيجة وللإيضاح أكثر نطرح الأسئلة التالية:

1

ـ أيّ حكومة يمكن أن تحلّ مكان هذه الحكومة بعد استقالتها في ظلّ وجود أقلية نيابية ترفض العمل مع الأكثرية النيابية لتشكيل حكومة وحدة وطنية؟ وهل تظن الأقلية أن بإمكان الأكثرية تسليم رقبتها للآخرين ويتكرّر ما حصل في العام 2005 عبر ما يدّعون إليه من تشكيل حكومة محايدة، وهل هناك في لبنان من هو مؤكد الحياد المستحق لأن يتولى الحكم في ظل مقولة أن «المحايد بين الحق والباطل هو نكرة نصر الباطل بعدم نصرته للحق«؟

هذه الأسئلة تقودنا إلى القول بان استقالة الحكومة لن تغير شيئاً كما يعتقدون، لأنها ستؤدي إلى شلل حكومي كما كان يحصل في أزمات مماثلة عبر العجز عن تشكيل حكومة، او عودة إلى حكومة مماثلة او استعادة حكومة الوحدة الوطنية الفاشلة؛ وكلها حالات لن تكون مناسبة لتقديم الحلول… بل ستكون الطريق الأنسب للفراغ والفوضى.

1

ـ أما عن المجلس النيابي، فإن على دعاة الاستقالة ان يتذكروا الانتخابات الفرعية مهما كان عدد المستقيلين من النواب حتى ولو تجاوزوا الثلث من عديد المجلس فإن الأخير، قادر على الانعقاد وممارسة أعماله طالما أن لديه القدرة على تأمين الأكثرية المطلوبة دستورياً أي الأكثرية المطلقة في معظم الحالات ألا ما جاء فيها نص دستوري على أكثرية موصوفة تتجاوز المطلقة. فإذا جرت انتخابات مبكرة الآن وفي ظل قانون الانتخاب الحالي من يضمن ان لا يعود أعضاء المجلس بمعظمهم كما هم الآن وكما عودتنا انتخابات سابقة في ظل قانون انتخابي طائفي يشوه الديمقراطية ويمنع التمثيل الصحيح؟

2

ـ أما عن التحقيق الدولي فإنّ تجربة محكمة الحريري كافية وحدها لنسف الفكرة من أساسها. إذ ان 15 عاماً مضت حتى الآن لم تكن كافية للبت بالقضية وكشف الحقيقة ومن يدري إذا كنا بحاجة إلى 15 عاماً أخرى او أكثر للانتهاء من المحاكمة وحسناً فعل رئيس الجمهورية عندما اتخذ موقفه الرافض لهذا التحقيق مستنداً على مقولة «العدالة المتأخرة ليست بعدالة». والقضاء الدولي كما بات مسلماً به لدى معظم رجال القانون ونحن منهم ليس ألا وسيلة سياسية بلبوس قضائي يستعملها القوي في المنظومة الدولية من جل التغطية على المجرم والانتقام من خصومه، أما هو فيرفض الخضوع لهذا لقضاء كلياً كما تفعل أميركا.

وفي الخلاصة ومع التأكيد على ان النظام القائم بات مرفوضاً من قبل الأكثرية الشعبية، لأنه لا يحقق العدالة ولا يؤمن الاستقرار ورغم تمسك الطبقة السياسية به، فإنه غير قابل للاستمرار، لكن الوصول إلى المبتغى لا يكون عبر طروحات منفصلة عن الواقع عقيمة في ذاتها تعيد إنتاج النظام، ولذلك لا نرى بداً ولا مفراً من وضع خطة انقاد تراعي الواقع والممكن وتحدد الخسائر وتختصر الوقت، وتمنع إعادة إنتاج السلطة الفاسدة وإحياء النظام، خطة نراها في:

أ ـ مؤتمر وطني لاعتماد نظام سياسي وعقد اجتماعي جديد يراعي حقوق المواطن وهواجس الجماعات الوجودية والحقوقية الذاتية والوطنية وتكون أمامه مهل قصيرة جداً للوصول إلى الحلول بشكل لا تتعدى الأشهر. وفي حال العجز عن تحقق الإجماع فيه فيمكن العمل بما تقبل به الأكثرية المركبة (أكثرية أعضاء المؤتمر وأكثريات الطوائف) ثم عرض النتائج على الاستفتاء الشعبي.

ب ـ إعادة تكوين المؤسسات الدستورية وفقاً لما يتوصل اليه المؤتمر الوطني.

ج ـ التحقيق والمحاكمة بكارثة بيروت عبر إحالة القضية إلى المجلس العدلي من دون سواه ويمكن طلب معونة فنية أو تقنية من الخارج من دون أن تمس بالسيادة.

د ـ إجراء الإصلاحات الضرورية جداً من اجل فك الحصار عن الدولة والمواطن.

*أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي.

IS THE PARTITION OF LEBANON NOW ON THE TABLE?

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Following the end of the 1975 civil war in Lebanon, the Taef agreement (one of the worse agreements on record) was signed between the belligerents. It delivered the country into the hands of the civil warlords who today rule Lebanon along with their children. Since then they have been frenetically diligent in stealing public wealth, mismanaging the country and offering precious little infrastructure to the inhabitants. They shelter behind the religious leaders, who are keen to offer protection to these lords… as long as they guard the governmental position allocated to each of the 18 Lebanese religions, according to a confessional system far removed from democracy or even nationalism. And indeed, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, was careful to say, during his last week’s visit to Lebanon, at his meeting with these same warlords: “It is not up to a French President to write your history on your behalf. It is you who have to do it.”

Macron rejected the idea of an early parliamentary election and requested that these war Lords unite in “one united government”- which means international community support for the same politicians responsible for the Lebanese crisis and large-scale theft for decades! But the population took to the streets the day following Macron’s departure, making the point that a sectarian confrontation could no longer be excluded. Is it possible to divide Lebanon, following on from another sectarian war? What would be the reaction of the powerful players? It’s high time for this Lebanese government to leave. What next?

The time has come for the departure of the Lebanese government led by Doctor Hassan Diab. Diab, a Sunni, is not a political leader and belongs to no party. He is an intellectual and a university professor who was prevented from implementing real changes and put an end to the long-established corruption pattern. Lebanese war lords gathered against him domestically and took the trouble to travel abroad asking world leaders to refrain from supporting the current government. Even the Speaker Nabih Berri tried to shake Diab and his government, although Berri has two ministers in the same Diab cabinet, and has contributed to its failure. Berri’s ministers finally rejected the idea of removing the Central Bank governor and taking him to trial for his mismanagement of public savings and for his spectacularly unsuccessful financial engineering.

Prime Minister Diab said he is “giving it two months” – he won’t last that long – to allow the war lords to meet and decide what to do next since they are the ones preventing the government from moving forward. He also said he is willing to seek an early parliamentary election, a proposal that will certainly be rejected by the powerful politicians and will maybe lead to Diab’s own resignation.

In fact, the Sunni and the Christian powerful parliamentary groups would be the most damaged from an early election. Both Sunni (Saad Hariri) and the Christians (GebranBassil) have suffered serious damage to their popular base and would definitely lose many of the seats they are holding today. The Druse (Walid Jumblat) and the Shia (Nabih Berry and Hezbollah) have stable seats and well-established popular support.

The international community is reasonably asking for a united front of all politicians – who boycotted the current government – in the forthcoming cabinet to avoid internal bickering and for all warlords to assume their responsibility to move the country forward. Lebanon is … More

Macron believes the US economic pressure on Hezbollah is harming the Lebanese population, among these the friends of France and the US. Moreover, the more the US increases its pressure on Lebanon, the more the country will be heading towards Iran, China and Russia. That’s without counting the number of refugees that would be flocking to Europe. The US “maximum pressure” on the “Axis of the Resistance”, mainly Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, has not achieved the desired result. The US has failed in its attempt to subdue Lebanon and has managed to push its allies, mainly European, to find more ways to distance themselves from US dominance.

“The problem of Lebanon is the fact that there are too many countries around”, wanting to dominate it. This is what the French President said. He described a reality the Lebanese are dangerously unaware of, and where Partition remains a dangerous ghost.

Proofread by:  Maurice Brasher

مصير الطائف والحكومة والانتخابات المبكرة

ناصر قنديل

الترنّح الذي يعيشه النظام الطائفي منذ تحوّل الأزمة الاقتصادية والمالية إلى أزمة بنيوية للنظام، وظهور العجز عن معالجة الأزمات المتراكمة من خلاله، بدا بوضوح أن الانتقال من النظام الطائفيّ إلى نظام مدني يبدأ بقانون انتخاب خارج القيد الطائفي بات أكثر من ضرورة، ورغم اتساع دائرة المطالبين بالدولة المدنية بدا بوضوح أيضاً، أن الأمر لا يتعدّى كونه عملاً دعائياً، لأن المدخل الطبيعي للدولة المدنية عبر قانون انتخاب لاطائفي لم يلق التأييد ذاته الذي يوحي به كثرة المتحدثين بالدولة المدنية.

الانتخابات النيابية ليست أمراً تقنياً ولا إجرائياً، بل هي العملية السياسية الأهم والأخطر التي تتشكل على قاعدتها سائر السلطات، وقانون الانتخاب وإجراء الانتخابات ما لم ينتجا عن توافق وطني يضمن الاعتراف الجامع داخلياً وخارجياً بنتائج الانتخابات، يشكلان قفزة في المجهول لا يبرّرها حسن النيات، ولذلك يبقى حديث الانتخابات وقانون الانتخابات حديث «القرايا وليس حديث السرايا»، كما يقول المثل الشائع حتى تنطق به إحدى السلطات كما جرى في كلام رئيس الحكومة، محاولاً تنفيس المناخات التي تطرح الانتخابات المبكرة في الشارع ومن على المنابر.

السؤال الرئيسي قبل الحديث عن انتخابات هو قانون الانتخابات، فهل هو القانون الحالي أم قانون جديد، وهل يمكن الحديث عن انتخابات من دون التوافق على القانون من جهة وعلى مشاركة جامعة فيها تضمن ميثاقيتها من جهة موازية؟ وهنا يحضر السؤال الأهم، في ظل الضغوط الطائفية لاستقالة الوزراء والنواب، بالتزامن مع الدعوات لإسقاط الحكومة تمهيداً للذهاب لانتخابات نيابية مبكرة، ومع استقالات لنواب من كتل ومنابر، تطال الأسئلة مواقف مرجعيات بوزن بكركي، والرئيس السابق سعد الحريري، والنائب السابق وليد جنبلاط، وموضوع السؤال هو مصير اتفاق الطائف، فهل صارت ثوابت الطائف المتصلة باستقرار وشرعية النظام السياسي على الطاولة، وباتت موضوعاً للتفاوض؟

المخاطرة من خارج التوافق الوطني بتحويل الانتخابات المبكرة، والاستقالات الوزارية والنيابية، بأبعاد طائفية، إلى عنوان سياسي في التداول يعني أن اتفاق الطائف بات على الطاولة للبحث وإعادة النظر. وهذه مخاطرة بالاستقرار لأنها تسقط شرعية النظام السياسي قبل التفاهم على بديل. والفراغ هنا هو فوضى ومغامرة بوحدة البلد وأمنه وفكرة الدولة فيه، فهل هناك من يفكر بدفع الأمور نحو الفوضى السياسيّة لفتح النقاش داخلياً وخارجياً حول الفدرالية والحياد؟

الإطار الدولي الذي يحيط بلبنان لا يزال مفتوحاً على احتمالات، من بينها ما يرتبط بالوضع الإقليمي ومخاطر عروض المقايضات دولياً وإقليمياً، وأكبر الأخطاء قبل أن يوضح أصحاب المبادرات مقاصدهم بنظام جديد وعقد اجتماعي جديد، أن يسارع بعض الأطراف لوضع لبنان في حال فراغ ميثاقي، يجعله موضوعاً للتفاوض، بينما الأصح في مثل هذه الحالات هو التمسك بالتوافق الوطني كشرط لميثاقيّة وشرعيّة أي نظام جديد وعقد اجتماعي جديد، كي لا يمنح التفويض الذي تمثله دعوات بعض الداخل للخارج، ما ينتج عنه تفريط بهذا البعض نفسه في حاصل المقايضات والصفقات.

العبرة الأهم هي الابتعاد عن التذاكي بإعطاء الإشارات المتناقضة لطمأنة الضفتين المتقابلتين، كما يجري في اليوم عبر الاستقالات الفردية التي تحمل رسائل مشفرة تطرح أسئلة حول مواقف مرجعيّاتها.

أيام الاسئلة الكبرى؟

إبراهيم الأمين : المرحلة الثانية من الأزمة – مجلة وفاء WB

سياسة 

ابراهيم الأمين الإثنين 10 آب 2020

استقالة حكومة او هزيمة سلطة او سقوط للنظام. ما جرى ويجري، منذ انفجار الرابع من آب، يقود الى الاسئلة الكبرى امام الناس جميعاً، مواطنين ومسؤولين… ومتآمرين ايضاً. وهي اسئلة تخص الخارج المهتم بخلاص لبنان، او ذاك الباحث عن فرصة لتدميره نهائياً.

وقع حسان دياب تحت الضغط الكلي. مشكلته لم تكن محصورة بالقوى المعارضة لوجوده في السراي، بل في حلفائه ايضاً. وهو وجد، من تلقاء نفسه، ان اقتراح الانتخابات المبكرة قد يمثل مدخلا لهدوء يقود الى حل. نسي الرجل ان قواعد اللعبة ليست للشارع كما يظن المتوهّمون، بل لمن لا يزال بيده الامر. فكان القرار باطاحته مشتركاً: الرئيس ميشال عون الذي تعني له الانتخابات النيابية نزعاً للشرعية عنه. جبران باسيل الذين تعني الانتخابات المبكرة تشليحه نصف كتلته النيابية. سعد الحريري الذي لا يطيق الجلوس في البيت والخائف من ان تصبح كتلته بضعة نواب على شاكلة ديما الجمالي. وليد جنبلاط الذي يخشى على مصير زعامته..وفوق كل هؤلاء، الرئيس نبيه بري الذي لم يكن اصلا من المرحّبين بحكومة دياب. وكان ولا يزال يفضل الحريري على جميع الاخرين، والهارب ايضاً من ضائقة شعبية لا يمكن لحزب الله ان يعالجها كل الوقت… كل هؤلاء، معطوفين على الجهد المتواصل من الاميركيين وحلفائهم السعوديين والاسرائيليين، ومنظماتهم غير الحكومية في لبنان، انتج الجدار المرتفع الذي يعطل كل شيء. فكانت النتيجة القرار المبدئي باستقالة الحكومة. سيكون بوسع حسان دياب ان يستقيل بدل ان تتم اقالته في المجلس النيابي، وهو الذي رفض فكرة استدعائه لتحميله مسؤولية جريمة ارتكبها كل خصومه من داخل الحكومة وخارجها خلال السنوات الماضية. ومعه وزراء هم اليوم في حالتهم الطبيعية، عراة من كل شيء، لا قوة لهم ولا ثمن. من أتى بهم يبيعهم على مفترق طرق. يجري كل ذلك، وسط حال من الجنون تسود الشارع ومعه الاعلام الفاجر المنتشر على كل الشاشات والمنابر.

لكن الى اين من بعد هذه الهزة؟

الطبقة السياسية تريد تنفيذ توصية الرئيس الفرنسي ايمانويل ماكرون بتشكيل حكومة وحدة وطنية. يعتقدون انه في حال استقالة حكومة دياب، سيُدعون الى استشارات نيابية تسمّي الحريري بطلاً منقذاً، على ان يجري منحه فرصة تشكيل حكومة تضم ممثلين عن كل القوى السياسية من دون أقطابها، وان يصار بعدها الى وضع برنامج عمل هدفه تهدئة الوضع في انتظار القرار الدولي.

لكن من يفكرون بهذه الطريقة، هل يملكون الاجابة عن الاسئلة المحرّمة، ومنها:

– ماذا يعني الفشل في تشكيل حكومة سريعاً؟ هل يصبح الجيش المكلف بقرار ادارة العاصمة الكبرى في ظل حالة طوارئ الحاكم الفعلي للبلاد؟ وهل الجيش قادر على هذه المهمة وهو الذي فشل في ادارة شوارع مثلومة الاسبوع الماضي؟ وهل لدى قيادته وهم بأن سلطة الامر الواقع تتيح له تشكيل حكومة واجراء انتخابات والاتيان بقائد الجيش رئيسا للجمهورية؟

– من سيكون المسؤول عن البلاد بعد ثمانية ايام، عند صدور قرار المحكمة الدولية الخاصة بجريمة اغتيال رفيق الحريري؟ من سيتسوعب الصدمة ومن يمكنه ضبط الشارع الذي سيتصرف على انه اسقط الحكومة وعليه اسقاط المجلس النيابي ورئيس الجمهورية ايضا؟ وكيف سيكون الوضع لو ان الشارع ضم الى مهامه ايضاً مهمة تنفيذ حكم المحكمة الدولية؟

– فرنسا التي قادت مؤتمراً لتحصيل مساعدات تقرر حصرها بنتائج الانفجار، تقول انها جمعت نحو ربع مليار يورو. لكنها – كما الولايات المتحدة – تريد ان تشرف الامم المتحدة على انفاقها. وهي تريد ذلك في ظل وجود الحكومة، فكيف اذا صارت البلاد من دون حكومة. وبالتالي، فان الامم المتحدة، وكر الفساد الاول في عالم المساعدات، ستتولّى تشكيل «حكومة ظل» قوامها مرتزقة المنظمات غير الحكومية ليتولّوا الاشراف على صرف المساعدات، وبالتالي الدخول الى الادارة العامة، وتخيلوا ما بعد ذلك.

– اذا كان اسقاط حكومة حسان دياب هدفاً بذاته، فان الفرق اللبنانية لديها اهدافها الاخرى. والمرجح ان الساعين الى رئاسة الجمهورية سيدعمون تنشيط المعارضة لاسقاط المجلس النيابي، وهم يعتقدون بأن انتخابات جديدة تحت اشراف دولي ستتيح تغييرا واسعا في تركيبة المجلس النيابي، وسيجدون العلاج لملف الرئاسة واطاحة الرئيس عون من بعبدا. وهؤلاء، سيفتحون بازار المفاوضات مع كل شياطين الارض لتحقيق الحلم بالوصول الى الرئاسة. وعندها سنقترب من الملفات الحساسة.

– العالم الخارجي الذي «حزن» بعد انفجار المرفأ، قرر صرف مساعدات موضعية. لكن قرار فك الحصار عن لبنان لم يحصل بعد. وبالتالي فان هذا العالم لديه مطالب غير تلك التي تهم الجياع والمطالبين بحسن التمثيل. هدفه واحد ومحصور في ضرب المقاومة. وهذا العالم، سيعتقد انه بمقدوره الضغط اكثر على اللبنانيين بغية ممارسة ضغط جانبي على المقاومة لاجبارها على الاتيان الى طاولة لتفاوض على سلاحه ولو بالتقسيط، هل يعتقد هؤلاء ان مصير المقاومة يعالج كأننا نصنع العجة؟

– حسناً، اذا كان الهدف اسقاط السلطة لانها لم تعد قادرة على القيام بمهمات تلبي حاجات الناس، فهل يحاول هؤلاء الهروب من استحقاق تغيير وجه النظام القائم وقلبه، سياسيا واقتصاديا واداريا. من يرد تعديل قواعد اللعبة، عليه ان يعرف ان المطلوب فعلياً ليس تغيير الحكومة، بل تغيير النظام، وهذا يعني الآن امراً واحداً: رصاصة الرحمة على اتفاق الطائف.

– اذا كانت فرنسا حصلت على تفويض ولو جزئي من العالم لادارة الازمة اللبنانية. واذا كان خيار تغيير النظام هو الاساس. فان الطاولة المستديرة التي جمع الرئيس الفرنسي اقطاب البلاد حولها، سيُعاد تشكيلها بغية ادارة حوار يستهدف عنوانا جديدا، وهو الاتفاق على نظام جديد في البلاد، ما يعني ان ثمن الانهيار القائم اليوم، هو المباشرة بالعمل على مؤتمر تأسيسي جديد لتشكيل سلطات جديدة، نيابية وحكومية وادارية وعسكرية وخلافه. واذا كانت سوريا منهكة بدمارها، والسعودية غير مؤهلة لادارة شؤونها، واميركا كما بقية العالم تشكل طرفا في الازمة، فهل توكل الى فرنسا مهمة ادارة حوار لبناني – لبناني للاتفاق على نظام سياسي جديد. وفي هذه الحال، هل يعلم الناس ان فرنسا ستتحدث باسم المسيحيين، اما المسلمون فسيواصلون انقساماتهم من دون التوصل الى قواسم مشتركة… وعندها سنكون امام لوحة فوضى مكتملة.

– سيحصل كل ذلك، والبلاد تسجل مزيداً من الانهيار الاقتصادي والمالي. فهل سيعود رياض سلامة حاكما لكل الادارات وليس للسياسات النقدية فحسب. وتطيير الحكومة الحالية يعني تطيير كل اشكال التدقيق الجنائي المحلي او الدولي في عمليات مصرف لبنان وبقية المصارف. وهذا هدفه الاول، لكن هل يمكنه إدّعاء القدرة على توفير تمويل للعصابة اياها لادارة البلاد من جديد؟

– الاكيد ان الاميركيين يعتقدون ان الافضل، الان، هو سقوط الحكومة وعدم تشكيل حكومة بديلة سريعا، وان يصار الى فرض سلطة الجيش مع وصاية خارجية على اقتصاد البلاد. وهم سيكثرون من الكلام عن ان لبنان قابل للحياة من جديد، فقط اذا قرر التخلي عن المقاومة.

ايها اللبنانيون، استعدوا لما هو اسوأ. واستعدوا لمنازلات لا نعرف حدودها ولا مساحتها ولا طبيعتها، واستعدوا لتحمل مسؤولية ما تقولون وما تفعلون وما تقرّرون من خطوات لاحقة… ولا شيء أمامكم أكثر وضوحا من فوضى الانهيار الكبير.

مقالات متعلقة

HEZBOLLAH, THE SOURCE OF ALL TROUBLES IN LEBANON AND THE MIDDLE EAST.

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier:  @ejmalrai

Hezbollah is the source of all troubles currently besetting the US Empire in the region; it is spoiling most of Washington and Tel Aviv’s strategies and plans for Lebanon and the Middle East. Even amid the harshest economic crisis hitting Lebanon, Hezbollah is still opposing US efforts to bring Lebanon to its knees and subject the country to Israel’s whims. Hezbollah did not defeat the efforts of the US and Israel in a single honest blow, but rather is responsible for the failure of dozens of attempts to implement the US-Israel strategies in the Middle East.

The US claims it can and will support Lebanon through its devastating economic crisis provided that Hezbollah stands down and leaves the government. Although Hezbollah is the strongest military force in Lebanon (and the Middle East according to Israel), it is inseparable from the 33% of the Lebanese population (the Shia); it has 13 members in parliament and, along with its Christian and other allies, around 70 MPs (of the parliament’s 128 seats) in a position to take over the government and nominate all ministers. For the US and Israel, Hezbollah’s representation in the cabinet is a scandal to be eliminated

To the US, it is normal that the Lebanese government give no consideration to Hezbollah’s suggestions and that Lebanon lives without electricity, fuel for its generators and transport of goods nationwide. This situation is satisfactory for US-Israel purposes and could increase local discontent to the point of destabilising Lebanon. The ultimate objective is to distract Hezbollah from the borders and create dissension between Hezbollah and its Christian allies – who are, and will remain, pro-western – and allow Israel to have the upper hand even if the whole of Lebanon has to pay the price.

The Lebanese Christians are less than 27% of the entire Lebanese population but still claim 50% of all governmental positions in the country. The Muslims, Shia and Sunni, have not yet asked for the change of the constitution and the Taif Accords. However, this situation of disparity may not last. After the tenure of President Michel Aoun, many Lebanese Christians are expected to return to the arms of the West, away from Hezbollah. The majority of Christians feel less connected to Arab countries and much closer to western societies. The vast majority of the Christian Lebanese are not willing to give up their comfort, nor to confront US’s strangulation policy patiently.

The US and Israel are content to see Hezbollah not standing in the way of the Christians’ religious and political leaders who “regret” that a state of hatred exists between Lebanon and Israel and who believe that “no ideological differences” stand in the way of good relations. The Christians in Lebanon who hold most of the power and are Hezbollah’s political allies have no intention of displeasing the Americans. The Foreign and Justice Ministers have defied Hezbollah’s wishes and are visibly concerned to please the US rather than Hezbollah.

The US is used to dealing with Lebanese politicians who are inured to corruption and have depleted the country’s wealth for over three decades. Hezbollah is campaigning to fight corruption. In fact, after so many years of mismanagement and favouritism among politicians and their families, the US would not welcome a new breed of politicians less compliant to the wishes of the US and its Israeli partner.

From Washington’s point of view, Hezbollah is indeed a “troublemaker” and a source of headaches for the US and Israel. But the efforts of Washington and Tel Aviv to bring about the disintegration of Lebanon show no signs of eliminating Hezbollah and its influence.

Proofread by:  C.G.B. and  Maurice Brasher

Copyright © https://ejmagnier.com   2020 

دلالات الردّ الصيني… وأسباب القلق الأميركي من اتجاه لبنان لقبول العروض الصينيّة

حسن حردان

من النادر أن نعثر سابقاً على قيام سفارة الصين الشعبية في لبنان بالردّ على مواقف لمسؤولين أميركيين متعلقة بلبنان.. فالصين طالما كانت تنأى بنفسها عن الدخول في سجال سياسي له علاقة بلبنان.. وكانت تُركّز دائماً ولا زالت على بناء علاقات اقتصاديّة وتجاريّة وثقافيّة بين الصين ولبنان وهي حرصت على تنظيم سلسلة زيارات لأحزاب وقوى سياسيّة من فريقي ٨ و١٤ آذار إلى الصين، وكذلك فاعليات اقتصاديّة وثقافيّة وأكاديميّة..

لقد جاء بيان السفارة الصينيّة، الذي صدر قبل أيام، رداً على تصريحات مساعد وزير الخارجية الأميركية ديفيد شينكر، ليعكس توجّهاً جديداً في السياسة الصينيّة يقضي بعدم السماح لأميركا بتضليل الرأي العام اللبناني عبر محاولة تشويه سياسة الصين والتأثير سياسياً على الواقع اللبناني.. بشأن ما يجري من احتدام للصراع في لبنان حول الخيارات الاقتصادية والمالية التي عليه أن يأخذها لحل أزماته.. حيث عمد شينكر إلى ممارسة التحّريض الخبيث ضد بكين عبر اتهامها بصفات لا تمت بصلة إلى طبيعة سياساتها الخارجيّة في لبنان وعموم المنطقة والعالم.. والقول بأنها تسعى من خلال تقديم المساعدات الماليّة إلى نصب فخاخ للدول.. وذلك في سياق السعي إلى تحّريض اللبنانيّين على رفض الدعوات المتزّايدة للتوجّه شرقاً صوّب الصين وعدم قبول عروض المساعدات والمشاريع الاقتصاديّة التي أبدت الاستعداد لتنفيذها في لبنان..

فالصين، كما برهنت التجّربة، تعتمد سياسات خارجيّة معاكسة تماماً للسياسات الأميركيّة الغربيّة:

أولاً، تقيم الصين علاقاتها الخارجية على قاعدة تعزيز السلم والاستقرار في العالم، والحرص على تطبيق المواثيق والقوانين الدوليّة، القاضية باحترام سيادة واستقلال الدول وعدم التدخل في شؤونها الداخليّة.. في حين تقيم الولايات المتحدة علاقاتها الخارجيّة بتعارض صارخ مع القوانين والمواثيق الدوليّة، حيث تعمل على فرض قوانينها وقراراتها على الدول للهيّمنة عليها، وتقوم بفرض الحصار الاقتصادي والمالي على الدول التي ترفض هذه الهيّمنة، وتطالب باحترام القانون الدولي..

ثانياً، تبنّي الصين علاقاتها الاقتصاديّة والتجاريّة مع دول العالم كافة على أساس تبادل الخبرات والمنافع من دون أيّ شروط سياسيّة.. وهذا النموذج من العلاقات لاقى نجاحاً في أفريقيا وآسيا، لأنّ الشركات الصينيّة التي استثمرت في هذه الدول، نفَّذت مشاريع حققت التنمية وحسّنت الخدمات العامة.. على عكس النموّذج الأميركي الغربي الذي اعتّمدتُ شركاته ويقوم على استغلال ثروات الدول من دون المساهمة بأيّ أنّشطة تنمويّة تُخرج البلاد من حالة التخلف والفقر..

ثالثاً، تمتنع الصين عن التدخل في شؤون وقرارات وسياسات الدول التي تستثمر فيها، وتعتبر ذلك شأناً داخلياً لا علاقة لها به.. في حين تعمد الولايات المتحدة وحلفاؤها في الغرب إلى التدخل في الشؤون الداخليّة للدول.. وتقوم بحياكة المؤامرات وتنفيذ انقلابات تطيح بالأنظمة والحكام الذين ينتهجون سياسات مستقلة غير تابعة للغرب..

انطلاقاً من ذلك فإنّ واشنطن شعرت بقلق شديد من اتجاه لبنان نحو قبول العروض الصينية لتنفيذ مشاريع اقتصادية وخدمية، لأنّ ذلك إذا حصل سوف يؤدّي ويكشف:

1

ـ إنّ هناك فرقاً شاسعاً بين طبيعة العلاقات مع الصين، التي تفيد البلدين وتنتشل لبنان من أزماته من دون أن ترتب عليه أيّ شروط سياسيّة، وبين طبيعة العلاقات القائمة بين لبنان وأميركا وبقية الدول الغربية والتي تقوم على فرض الوصاية على لبنان والتدخل في شؤونه وعدم حصول لبنان على أي منافع منها.. والدليل على ذلك أن أميركا تفرض حصاراً اقتصادياً مالياً على لبنان وتشترط رفعه خضوع لبنان للإملاءات الأميركيًة الإسرائيليًة.. وهي تمتنع أصلاً عن تقديم أيّ قروض غير مشروطة، ولا تقدم أيّ مشاريع لحل مشكلات لبنان المزمنة، بل تسارع إلى وضع العراقيل أمام لجوء لبنان لأي دولة تعرض عليه المساعدة لإقامة مثل هذه المشاريع لحل أزماته…

2

ـ انّ لبنان قد أضاع عقوداً من الزمن للنهوض باقتصاده وإعادة تأهيل بنيته الخدميّة بأقلّ التكاليف، فيما لو سلك خيار تنويع علاقاته الاقتصاديّة مع دول العالم كافة.. لكنّ الطبقة السياسيّة التي حكمت لبنان بعد الطائف ربطت لبنان بالتبعيّة الاقتصاديّة للغرب وانتهجتّ سياسات ريعيّة نيو ليبرالية تناسب الغرب، أشاعت الفساد، فأباحت المال العام للنهب من خلال عقد الصفقات بالتّراضي، وكانت النتّيجة تنفيذ مشاريع بأسعار مكّلفة، وتبيّن في ما بعد أنها غير صالحة، مثل معامل الكهرباء… فيما رتبت هذا السياسة على لبنان ديوناً كبيرة تحت عنوان إعادة إعمار ما دمرته الحرب الأهليّة.. فلا أُقيمت شبكة سكك حديد، ولا تمّ شق نفق بيروت شتوره، ولا أُنشئّت معامل انتاح الكهرباء وفرز النفايات، ولا أُقِيمت السّدود للنهوض بالزراعة.. وكل هذه المشاريع أساسيّة للنهوض بالزراعة والصّناعة والسّياحة.. وهي القطاعات المنّتجة التي تحقق القِيمة المضافة وتؤمن فرص العمل.

3

ـ إنّ لبنان سيخرج من أزماته ويتخلّص من الارتهان للولايات المتحدة وابتزازها، ويلّمس لأول مرة الفوائد الاقتصاديّة الكبيرة من تنويع خياراته، ويُحققُ حرية قراره الاقتصادي ويُدرك مدى أهمية ذلك في اتخاذ القرارات التي تنسجم مع مصلحتهِ، ورفض كل ما يتعارض مع هذه المصلحة.. الأمر الذي يمكّنهُ من استغلال ثرواته النفطيّة والغازيّة كاملة، ورفض التّنازل عن أيّ جزء منها، والتمسك بكامل حقوقه في مياهه الإقليميّة الخالصة، وعدم القبول بأيّ مساومة عليها.

4

ـ إنّ لبنان سيزداد قوّةً ومنعةً.. فمعادلة «الجيش والشعب والمقاومة» سوف تتّعزز أيضاً بخروج لبنان من الأزمة الاقتصاديّة والماليّة والاجتماعيّة وتحرره من وصاية الولايات المتحدة التي تعمل على استغلال الأزمة الماليّة والاقتصاديّة لتحقيق مآربها السياسيّة..

لهذا كله فإنّ واشنطن باتت قلقة جداً من اتجاه لبنان نحو الشرق لحلّ أزماته لأنها ستؤدّي إلى فقدان أميركا أخر ورقة تمسّك بها للضغط على لبنان بهدف فرض شروطها عليه، وهي كلها شروط «إسرائيليّة»…

هل يحتاج لبنان الى نظام جديد؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

عندما أعلن لبنان الكبير في العام 1920 من قبل المفوّض السامي الفرنسي، كان جزءاً ممن اعتبروا بموجب الوضع الجديد لبنانيين في الدولة الوليدة، كان هذا الجزء يرفض الإعلان ويرفض قيام دولة تسلخهم عن سورية التي يعتبرونها الوطن الكبير لهم، شأنهم في ذلك شأن العلويين والدروز في سورية الذين رفضوا الانسلاخ عن الوطن الكبير وأطلقوا بلسان صالح العلي العلويّ صرخة «أكون مواطناً بسيطاً في سورية الكبرى ولا أقبل أن أكون حاكماً رئيساً في دولة قزم تخصّص للعلويين»، وكان للدروز وللعلويين ما أرادوا واستمرّوا جزءاً من الوطن الأمّ سورية، أما في لبنان فإنّ فريق رفض لبنان الكبير لم يصمد ولم يحقق غرضه بالبقاء في سورية، وأذعن للأمر الواقع وقبل بأن يكون الشمال والجنوب والبقاع جزءاً من هذه الدولة.

ولما دنت ساعة رحيل فرنسا وإعلان استقلال لبنان في العام 1943 تنازعت القوى السياسية اللبنانية المواقف بين فريق تدغدغ أفكاره أحلام العودة إلى سورية وفريق يتمسك بفرنسا أمّاً حنوناً تحضنه وتحميه من المحيط الشرقي الذي يرى أنه لا يتجانس معه بالدين، حتى ويغالي البعض بالقول إنه لا يتجانس معه بالقوميّة إلى حدّ كبير. وكحلّ وسط بين الفريقين ابتدعت معادلة تجمع رفضين بحيث يتنازل الفريق القومي عن طلب العودة إلى سورية ويتنازل الفريق اللبناني عن طلب الحماية الفرنسية، ويشترك الفريقان في العيش في لبنان كمواطنين يبتدعون صيغة حكم تحفظ لهم حقوقهم وتحفظ لبنان المستقل كما أعلنه المفوض السامي غورو، وهكذا نشأ الميثاق الوطني اللبناني المتضمّن موافقة مكونات الشعب اللبناني على العيش المشترك في دولة مستقلة، وابتدعت لهذه الدولة صيغة حكم طائفي توزع السلطة والحقوق على أساس طائفي أما الواجبات فتلقى على عاتق المكلفين على أساس فردي.

ولأنّ الصيغة الطائفية أخلّت بالمساواة بين الأفراد في الحقوق ومنحت فئة من اللبنانيين امتيازات جعلتها الفئة الحاكمة الممتازة، وصنّفت الطوائف من حيث الحقوق في درجات متفاوتة بحيث حرمت الطوائف الأقلّ عدداً من حق المشاركة بالسلطة أو تقلّد الوظائف العامة العليا ما أنشأ الشعور بالغبن، في مقابل تمسك أصحاب الامتيازات بامتيازاتهم مبرّرين ذلك بالخوف على المصير. وفي النتيجة نشأت في لبنان عقدتان عقدة الخوف وعقدة الغبن. عقدتان أفسدتا لدى الكثير الشعور بالمواطنية حتى وبالانتماء إلى لبنان وجعلتهم يتطلعون إلى الخارج للاستقواء به، ما فرض على لبنان واقعاً من عدم الاستقرار جعل الأوضاع تنفجر داخلياً مرة في كلّ عقد من الزمن، ما فرض على أصحاب الشأن مراجعة الصيغة مع التمسك بالميثاق، وحتى يطمئن الخائفون على المصير أطلق السيد موسى الصدر شعار «لبنان وطن نهائي لكلّ أبنائه»، وهو الشعار الذي أدخل في الدستور بعد اعتماده في اتفاق الطائف الذي ختم 14 عاماً من الحرب الأهلية في لبنان وأعاد توزيع السلطة والنظر بصيغتها على أسس جديدة.

لقد أمل الكثيرون في لبنان ان يشكل اتفاق الطائف 1989 مخرجاً يُرسي الاستقرار القائم على المساواة بين اللبنانيّين، خاصة أنه تضمّن من النصوص ما يعالج مخاوف وطموحات معظمهم. فنصّ على نهائيّة الكيان وعلى العلاقات المميّزة مع سورية وأعاد توزيع السلطة، كما نصّ على عدم مشروعيّة السلطة التي لا تراعي العيش المشترك بمعنى السلطة التي لا يشارك الجميع فيها، وأخيراً نصّ على وجوب إلغاء الطائفية السياسية لإقامة دولة المواطن بدلاً من دولة الطوائف، وأشار إلى وجوب المرور بمرحلة انتقالية مؤقتة تراعى فيها حقوق الطوائف في السلطة والوظائف العامة ريثما تلغى الطائفية السياسية.

بيد أنّ التطبيق جاء مجافياً للاتفاق، فمن حيث النهائية ظلت الأصوات تُسمع بإعادة النظر بالكيان (تقسيم… فيدرالية إلخ…) وفي العلاقة مع سورية انقلبت لتكون سورية عدواً للبعض وصديقاً حليفاً للبعض الآخر، وفي السلطة قامت بدعة الترويكا واختصرت الدولة بـ 3 أشخاص تقريباً وظلت طوائف مبعدة عنها (العلويون مثلاً لا وزير لهم) وحجب موضوع الطائفيّة السياسيّة ووضعت دونه الشروط التعجيزية من قبيل معالجة النفوس قبل النصوص، او القانون الموحّد للأحوال الشخصية وما إليه…

تسبّب التطبيق المخزي للدستور ولاتفاق الطائف بكوارث متعدّدة الوجوه حلت بكلّ لبنان واستشرى الفساد الذي تغذيه الطائفية، وتشكلت مواقع لشخصيات استبدادية تصادر طوائفها وتراكم الأموال سرقة واغتصاباً من المال العام، في مقابل تردّي كلّ شيء في الدولة التي انهارت ماليتها وانهار نقدها وشحّت مواردها ووقف معظم مواطنيها على عتبة الفقر والمجاعة، وأصبح الخوف على المستقبل شعوراً مشتركاً بين كلّ اللبنانيين.

إنّ ما عاناه لبنان ويعانيه اليوم هو نتيجة حتمية لاعتماد نظام طائفي ظالم يخلّ بالمساوة بين المواطنين، ولما رمّم النظام بنصوص قيل إنها مناسبة، فإنّ التعديل لم يطبق لا بل شهد الواقع تطبيقاً معاكساً، ولذلك كانت صرخات تطالب بمراجعة النظام مجدّداً، وأننا نرى انّ لهذه الصرخات مبرّرها فالكلّ يجمع بصراحة أو ضمناً على أنّ الوضع القائم لا يمكن ان يستمرّ حتى أولئك الذين يتمسّكون بالنصوص القائمة المعطل معظمها يعرفون انّ الاستمرار فيها أمر مستحيل وأنّ التطوير أو الإصلاح أو التعديل أمر لا بدّ منه. اعتقاد نكاد نقول إنه يشمل الجميع كما يشملهم الخوف على المصير كما قدّمنا ولا يتمسك بما هو قائم إلا قلة قليلة جداً من المستفيدين الذين هم فئة الـ 2% التي جمعت الثروات من خيرات الوطن.

وعليه ومنطلقين من مسلّمة أنّ الوضع القائم غير مقبول بات واجباً البحث عن حلّ او مخرج من المأساة القائمة، ولكن هنا ينبغي الحذر في اختيار الحلّ. إذ لا يقبل ان ننتقل من وضع ملتهب إلى وضع متفجّر أسوأ، ولا يمكن أن ننتقل من وضع غير مستقر إلى وضع زلزالي، وقبل أن نخوض في الحلّ الأسلم علينا الاتفاق حول آلية الوصول إليه. وهي آلية يمكن ان تبتكر لبنانياً من خلال النصوص الدستورية القائمة رغم انّ دستورنا يعتبر من أشدّ الدساتير جموداً، أو من خلال مؤتمر وطني تعتمد فيه أولاً مبادئ وطنية عامة تراعي نهائيّة الكيان والمساواة على أساس المواطنية وتحفظ الطوائف بصيغة لا تمسّ بحقوق الأفراد وكرامتهم، فهل نبادر إلى البحث؟ أم ننتظر الطوفان الأكبر أو الحريق الشامل؟

وفي هذا السياق نرى وجوب قبول أيّ يطرح يشكل في ذهن أصحابه مخرجاً لمأزق لبنان القائم، ويناقش بعقل منفتح وفقاً لأسس وطنيّة تمنع المسّ بوحدة لبنان وأمنه وسيادته وحقوق المواطن فيه ومبادئ العدالة والمساواة. فإذا وافقها يعتمد والا يستبعد، قبولاً او استبعاداً يتمّ على درجتين أولاً في الهيئة المصغرة التي تناقشه وتوصي به ثم من قبل عامة الشعب بناء لاستفتاء شعبي حقيقي. أما المكابرة ورفض المراجعة او إعادة النظر لمجرد الرفض فإنه يعني الإصرار على دمار الوطن وتهجير سكانه بحثاً عن لقمة العيش، من دون أن نغفل احتمال الانفجار الأمني الذي لا يمكن تفاديه مع اشتداد الجوع وتسارع الانهيار العام.

*أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي.

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

أخيراً وُلِدت الحكومة… ولكنْ

ناصر قنديل

ربما تكون أقصر مدة لولادة حكومة سجلتها حكومة الرئيس حسان دياب، وقد اكتملت قبل نهاية المهلة التي حدّدها بسقف ستة أسابيع، بحيث لا تزال متبقية منها عشرة أيام. وهي بالتأكيد من الحكومات المصغّرة التي لم يتشكل منها إلا القليل منذ اتفاق الطائف، واللبنانيون جميعاً كمواطنين ومعهم كل مَنْ يعنيهم أكثر من مجرد الحصص، هو أن تكون لنا حكومة أولاً، خصوصاً بعدما ظهر الفراغ ومخاطره، وبدأت الفوضى تدقّ الباب، والأزمات المعيشية والمالية ومخاطرها تتفاقم إلى حد يصعب توقع التعامل معه، وليس تخطّيه، من دون حكومة، أي حكومة.

الأيام الأخيرة التي سبقت الولادة القيصريّة للحكومة العتيدة، تركت ندوباً على المولود الحكومي، وعبره على الحياة السياسية في البلد. وهذه الحياة السياسية هي المناخ الذي سيوفر الفرص لمعالجات مطلوبة بصورة عاجلة للمشاكل الاقتصادية والمالية والمخاطر الاجتماعية، في ظل وضع أمني يستدعي التعامل الهادئ والمدرك للمخاطر، ووضع إقليميّ ضاغط باستقطاباته وتحدّياته وتسارع تطوّراته، ولبنان بسبب ثروات الغاز والنفط من جهة، ومأزق الأمن الإسرائيلي من جهة مقابلة، والاستهداف الأميركي للمقاومة بسببهما، والعقوبات الظالمة التي فرضها على لبنان وموارد مغتربيه، في قلب الزلزال الإقليميّ وعلى فوالقه الخطرة.

كانت تكفي الحكومة تحدياتُها الخارجية، والأزمات الاقتصادية والمالية، ووجود كتل سياسية كبرى تستعد لمعارضتها، ورمي ثقلها في الشارع وفي الخارج لإفشالها، واستنزافها بمواجهات سياسية وشعبية، وقادة أحزاب وتيارات سيجهدون لوضعها على خطوط تماس متفجّرة طائفياً ومالياً، واستعمال كل الوسائل المتاحة بما فيها علاقاتهم الخارجية لمنعها من الحصول على التمويل اللازم فوراً، واستعمال ما تيسّر من مشاعر الغضب الشعبي التي فجّرت حراك 17 تشرين الأول، وما تولّد من تعامل المصارف مع المودعين بودائعهم، وما يترتّب على حالات الصرف من العمل وإفلاس الشركات، وفوقها الطعن بالميثاقية الطائفية لتسمية رئيس الحكومة وعدد كبير من الوزراء. كل ذلك العداء كان كافياً، كي يجهد المعنيون بتأليف الحكومة لتفادي أي شقوق تصيب صف الغالبية النيابية التي وقفت وراء تسمية الرئيس المكلف، والتي ستكون معنيّة بتوفير الثقة النيابية المحفوفة بالمخاطر، وكي تتصرّف الكتل الكبرى التي تملك القدرة على تقديم تنازلات من صيغ تمثيلها المفترضة، لتخاطب بلغة التحالف والتشارك الأحزاب والكتل النيابية التي تشكل ضرورة لاكتمال الغالبية، وتعوّض بعضاً من بصمات وميراث التجاهل والتفرّد، وتصحح مساراً من تاريخ تراكمي عنوانه اعتبار أن الحلفاء ملزمون بتلبية الطلب لمنح الثقة، وأنهم ملزمون بقبول ما يُعرَض عليهم، وهو عموماً لا شيء، لكن هذا الممكن تمّ تجاهله، رغم جهود بذلها رئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري وساندها حزب الله.

كان القوميّون معنيّين بتفحّص هذه الجهود، كما هم معنيّون بدعم ولادة حكومة مناسبة وسريعاً، بل أسرع مما حدث، ولذلك لم يقوموا بتسمية مَن يمثلهم واكتفوا بدعم ترشيح نقيبة المحامين السابقة أمل حداد التي قام الرئيس المكلف بتسميتها، وفوجئوا بدون أن يقدّم لهم أيّ تفسير بالمطلق قبل أن يكون التفسير منطقياً أو مقنعاً، بسحب الاسم من التشكيلة، كما فوجئوا بعروض تقدَّم لهم بتبني ترشيحات سواهم الأخرى وارتضائها، بعدما صارت التسميات واضحة من القوى السياسية والأحزاب والكتل النيابية، وبالرغم من تدخلات إنقاذيّة قادها الرئيس بري وحزب الله، حرصاً على وحدة صف الحلفاء، وحماية لتاريخ من الشراكات المعمّدة بالدم مع القوميين، لم تفلح محاولات نفي قناعة القوميين أن المطلوب عدم مشاركتهم بتمثيل مسيحي. وهكذا فهموا حصر حقّهم بالتمثيل بمقعد درزيّ مضاف، رغم أنهم دائماً لا يرون أنهم يمثلون طائفة، ويملكون حضوراً يفتخرون به بين أبناء الطائفة الدرزية والكفاءات فيها، فقرّروا البقاء خارج الحكومة تثبيتاً لرفض تكريس مبدأ المرجعية الطائفية التي تملك حق الفيتو، وتثبيتاً لكون كتلتهم النيابية المكوّنة من ثلاثة نواب هي من الساحة التي يُطلَب منهم تقبّل إبعادهم عن التمثيل الوزراي فيها، وتأكيداً لكون القوميين لا يقبلون أن يصدر عنهم ما يساعد في استنتاج البعض أن بالمستطاع تطويعهم للتأقلم مع هذا الفيتو، ودائماً للتذكير بأن أهم رسائل الصرخة الجامعة للبنانيين كانت وستبقى بالدعوة للخروج من دولة الطائفيّات إلى الدولة المدنيّة.

هذه الولادة القيصريّة للحكومة، من دون القوميين، ستصيب إقلاعها بنقطة ضعف سيكون عليها إثبات أهليّتها لتجاوزها. والقوميون لا يخرّبون ولا يناكفون، بل يراقبون من موقع تمثيلهم لتيار واسع في الرأي العام ومن موقع حرصهم على مصلحة البلد وصدقيّة وأهليّة الحكومة للتصدّي للمشكلات الحقيقية، خصوصاً أن الحكومة تولد ببصمة تعاكس المناخ الذي فرضه الشارع تحت عنوان السعي للخروج من الطائفيّة وأمراضها، والمعيار كان وسيبقى في قدرة هذه الحكومة على التقدّم بمشروع قانون انتخاب خارج القيد الطائفيّ تلتزم به في نص بيانها الوزاري، قبل أن تتوجّه لطلب الثقة، ثقة النواب وثقة الحراك، وثقة الشعب، واسترداد ثقة الجماعات المؤمنة بالدولة المدنية، والتي ترسم اليوم علامات سؤال حول مدى قدرة حكومة تولد في ظل حسابات وموازين طائفية طاغية على تمثيل جسر عبور نحو تخطّي الطائفية. وسيكون في هذا الامتحان الجواب على السؤال حول الدرس الذي أراده القوميّون من عدم المشاركة، وهو التذكير بأن الحسابات الطائفيّة والعصبيّات الطائفيّة لن تجلب للبلد إلا المزيد من الخراب.

فيديوات متعلقة

بدبلوماسية مع النائب السابق ناصر قنديل والخبير المالي وليد ابو سليمان والناشطة السياسية ريم حيدر
ضروري نحكي مع الصحافي والمحلل السياسي غسان جواد

مقالات متعلقة

Lebanon: the background to the banking crisis of the century

by Thierry Meyssan

The collapse of the Central Bank of Lebanon following a major state scam plunged the country into an unparalleled economic and financial crisis. The country is now paying for its 76 years of political dependence and 8 years of complete political vacancy. The reality of its situation is very different from the perception of its citizens.

The three presidents. In the centre is General Michel Aoun, Christian President of the Republic, on the left the Shiite Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, on the right the Sunni President of the Interim Government Saad Hariri. Lebanon is not a democracy based on a balance of power between the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary, but a confessional system based on 17 religious communities. The extreme complexity of this system ensures the sustainability of warlords and foreign influence. Thus Michel Aoun was the main Christian leader during the civil war, Nabih Berri that of Amal, and Saad Hariri succeeded his father Rafik Hariri who ruled Lebanon exlusively in the name of Saudi Arabia and France after the civil war.

The Central Bank of Lebanon has again authorized private banks to freely deliver Lebanese pounds, but still no dollars.

This exchange control is illegal in law because it has not been validated by Parliament. Several large companies have already filed an application for interim relief before the courts. The wheat, oil and medicine import sectors are out of business, all the others are in recession.

Public debt stands at 154% of GDP. The Lebanese pound was depreciated by half its value in three months, taking the Syrian pound, already mistreated during the war by the Saudi and Qatari counterfeit currency, into its fall.

Causes of the crisis

This financial crisis led Parliament to adopt a new tax that triggered the demonstrations that have paralysed the country since October 17, 2019. In all likelihood, it originated in a massive scam set up by the country’s political leaders through the Central Bank.

A historical reminder is necessary here:

In fact, Lebanon has never been an independent state since its creation during the Second World War (1943). France set up a confessional system there that allowed it to preserve its influence after decolonization by depriving the Lebanese of any national political life. The attempt by US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to settle the Israeli question by making Lebanon the homeland of Palestinian Arabs provoked a civil war (1975-1989) and ended in failure. The Saudi Peace, imposed by the Taif Agreement (1989), restored the confessional system and extended community quotas to all public service jobs. The Syrian military presence (1989-2005), validated by the international community, made it possible to rebuild the country, but did not solve any problems.

Former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri (1992-98 and 2000-04) looted Lebanon by plundering 55,000 families, then confusing the Treasury with his personal fortune. He had raked in $16 billion at the end of his life. Under the Taif Agreement, Rafiq Hariri, as a representative of the Saudi Royal Family, was protected by the Syrian peace force present in the country to end the civil war. During his assassination, it was discovered that he had corrupted the two Syrian officials responsible for overseeing peacekeeping: the head of the intelligence services, Ghazi Kanaan, and Vice-President Abdel Halim Khaddam. The first committed suicide and the second fled to France where he made an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood and prepared for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad.

In 2005, the Syrian peacekeeping force abruptly withdrew at the request of the Lebanese population, which saw it as a symbol of its own crimes during the civil war and held it – wrongly – responsible for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. From 2006 to 2014, i.e. during the power vacuum and then the presidency of Michel Sleimane – protected mainly from Qatar and secondarily from France – the Lebanese political leaders did not establish any accounting documents. Lebanon and Saudi Arabia were the only two states in the world without an official budget. It is now materially impossible to determine what taxes have been levied, what international aid Lebanon has received, or what it has spent. During this period, Central Bank Director Riad Salamé set up a Ponzi scheme comparable to that of Bernard Madoff, but for the personal benefit of political leaders. Dollar deposits earned twice as much interest as in other countries.

But the interest on these deposits was paid with the money of the new depositors. With the agreement of the United States, private banks agreed to launder the dirty money of South American drug cartels, while a US bank bought a third of the capital of the main Lebanese banks. When a major depositor withdrew his money, the system faltered. Political leaders had time to transfer their loot abroad before it collapsed. Thus, last October, former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora broke all records by secreting away between 6 and 8 billion ill-acquired dollars.

In response to the disaster, the Acting President of the Government, Saad Hariri (the legal son of the former), requested an advance payment of $1 billion from the European Union. He then wrote to China, Egypt, France, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States to ask them to guarantee unpaid amounts for the import of basic necessities, which must be repaid as soon as exchange controls are lifted. In response, the main states involved in the economic rescue of Lebanon met on December 11 in Paris. In the morning, they discussed behind closed doors their political interest in saving Lebanon or letting it sink, then in the afternoon, they received a Lebanese delegation. They made the appointment of a new pro-Western government and the establishment of effective control over the use of any money a condition for any assistance.

Indignant at the idea of new foreign supervision over the country, Lebanese petitions have been sent to foreign donors to dissuade them from paying money to the Central Bank until the origin of the crisis has been established.

Sunni government President Saad Hariri then addressed the IMF and the World Bank, but they immediately questioned the authenticity of the Central Bank’s balance sheet and the probity of its director, Riad Salamé, hitherto considered an exemplary banker.

This historical reminder highlights Hezbollah’s lack of responsibility for the crisis, despite the fact that the Western press claims the opposite. Similarly, it is important to note that while Hezbollah accepts the zakat (Muslim donation) of drug traffickers in the Bekaa Valley and the Shia diaspora in Latin America, it has always opposed drug cultivation. When it came to government, it proposed and implemented social assistance programs so that farmers could evolve and change their crops. Finally, it should also be stressed that most of the Lebanese dirty money does not come from local drugs, but from the laundering of the income of South American cartels; money laundering instituted by the United States and benefiting Lebanese bankers, mainly Christians and Sunnis.

Identically, this reminder highlights the apparent stability of the country since the election of the Christian President of the Republic, Michel Aoun. Lebanon had never been able to simultaneously fill the functions of Christian President of the Republic, Sunni President of the Government, the Unicameral Assembly and the Constitutional Council from 2005 to 2016.

Impact of the crisis

Exchange controls, which aim to stop capital flight, have caused the economy to collapse. At least 10% of the country’s companies have gone bankrupt in the last 3 months. Most of the others have reduced their working hours in order to proportionally reduce the wages paid without having to lay off their employees. The first companies affected are charitable foundations, so the entire sector of aid to the poor is devastated. Foreign workers – especially Asian domestic workers – who are paid in Lebanese pounds, have lost half of what they used to transfer monthly in dollars to their families. Thousands have already left the country.

Everyone will have noticed that the demonstrations that have been taking place since October 17 are very coordinated. The agitators are permanently connected by telephone to a mysterious HQ. The slogans are exactly the same throughout the country and in all communities, which gives the demonstrators an illusory sense of the end of the confessional system. The designation of the Christian President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, as the main target of the Free Patriotic Movement (CPL) suggests that the movement is organised against him.

The United States’ position is ambiguous. On the one hand, the USAID administration blocked a $115 million grant to the Lebanese army to purchase equipment, while on the other hand, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released the grant. Former US ambassador to Lebanon, Jeffrey Feltman, testified before Congress stating what he had written. That is, according to him, every “American” must fight the Iran-Herbollah-CPL-White House alliance.

The proposal to appoint businessman Samir Khatib as Sunni president of the government was rejected by the Grand Mufti. Indeed, in Lebanon, the Christian President of the Republic is appointed by the Maronite Patriarch, the Sunni President of the Government by the Mufti and the Shiite President of the Parliament by the mullahs, and then they are confirmed by the Single Chamber. It is the only country in the world with such a confusion of religious and political powers. For their part, the Kateb (Maronite phalangists) proposed diplomat and magistrate Nawaf Salam to make a good face. In any case, the mufti is in favour of a renewal of Saad Hariri, but this time at the head of a government of technocrats who, in any case, will be chosen by the three presidents.

Accused of prevarication, the Free Patriotic Movement (CPL) of the Christian President of the Republic Michel Aoun has already indicated that it would not participate in the next government. He does not intend to be held responsible for future problems under the pretext of covering the embezzlement of funds for which it is accused and which it denies.

The clashes, which took place on December 14 in Beirut, illustrate the emptiness of the unrest. In the early afternoon, young Shia members of Hezbollah and Amal attacked groups linked to George Soros who had set up tents in the city centre. In the evening, other young people, from the groups that had been attacked shortly before, tried to invade Parliament and proclaim it “the colourful revolution” as they did in Serbia, Georgia and many other countries. For the Lebanese, haunted by the memory of the civil war, the hundred or so wounded – including the forces of order – cause unbearable anguish. The fact that the press speaks of the wounded Lebanese, but says nothing about the stateless Palestinian or Syrian national deaths speaks volumes about the country’s violence.

We are therefore heading once again towards a wobbly system because the major powers have been playing with Lebanon for 76 years and the Lebanese have been submitting to it.

How to get out of the crisis?

Contrary to the demands of the demonstrators, there is no proper Lebanese politician. And there can’t be any in a system like this. At best, they stole money to serve their community, at worst to enrich themselves personally. Lebanon is one of the few countries in the world where billionaires suddenly appear without anyone knowing where their wealth comes from. Therefore, it is not necessary to drive them all out, but to rely on the former by encouraging them to serve the Nation rather than their only community and to imprison the latter.

Lebanon’s misfortunes are directly attributable to the Lebanese themselves, who for 76 years have accepted an abstruse constitutional system and fought for their community rather than for their country. They have still not resolved the trauma of the civil war and continue to see their religious warlords as the only bulwarks against possible aggression from other communities.

These misfortunes will only end with a change of constitution and the adoption of a truly democratic system; this implies the recognition of the most legitimate personality to lead the country to its destiny. It doesn’t matter what his confession is. And in this case, it is clearly Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah after the victory of his network of Resistance against the Israeli invader who is indisputably the legitimate personality. It will remain for the Lebanese to hope that he will not use their trust to betray them for the benefit of the Iranians.

For the moment, it is impossible to change the Constitution. The parliamentarians who would be massively swept away are too attached to their seats and will not do so. A referendum will not do this either because corruption is everywhere, including among voters: 45% of them admit to having been solicited to sell their vote. In Lebanon, political parties are denominational. They do not have a national ambition, but they defend their community and distribute prebends to it. It is therefore necessary to proceed gradually by creating a strong administration, and therefore by decapitating the main corrupt agents within a short period of time; this is what the Sunni president of the government, Saad Hariri, had proposed and which was refused him by the demonstrators. Then it will be necessary to attack warlords from the civil war who must prove their usefulness today or leave public life.

Thierry Meyssan

Translation
Roger Lagassé

Thierry Meyssan

Thierry Meyssan

Political consultant, President-founder of the Réseau Voltaire (Voltaire Network). Latest work in English – Before Our Very Eyes, Fake Wars and Big Lies: From 9/11 to Donald Trump, Progressive Press, 2019.

الحريري لتعديل الطائف أو إسقاطه؟

ناصر قنديل

تقدّم رئيس الحكومة المستقيلة سعد الحريري بتصوّره لقيام حكومة جديدة. يقوم هذا التصوّر على ثنائية قوامها، نقل حق تسمية رئيس الحكومة من الأغلبية النيابية إلى دار الفتوى باعتبار رئيس الحكومة يمثل منصباً سيادياً تتمثل من خلاله طائفته في الدولة، واشتراط إطلاق يده في تشكيل حكومة تكنوقراط ومنحها صلاحيات استثنائية، بمعنى تهميش المجلس النيابي سواء في تشكيل الحكومة التي جعلها اتفاق الطائف صاحبة السلطة العليا مجتمعة، بعدما كانت هذه السلطة بيد رئيس الجمهورية يعاونه وزراء يختارهم، لتصير بيد رئيس الحكومة يعاونه وزراء يختارهم. ولا يلغي هذا الاستنتاج قول الرئيس الحريري بأن الأغلبية النيابية باقية وقادرة على سحب الثقة بالحكومة متى شاءت، لأن القصد هو القول إن ما يدعو إليه الرئيس الحريري هو نظام دستوري جديد، وليس القول إذا كان هذا النظام قابلاً لحياة أم لا، فهو نظام يعمل في بريطانيا، حيث الملكة بلا صلاحيات فعلية ولا شراكة في تشكيل الحكومات، كما يريد الحريري لدور رئيس الجمهورية، ورئيس الحكومة يختار الوزراء ويملك السلطة التنفيذية، لكن مع فارقين هما أن رئيس الحكومة في بريطانيا ليس ممثلاً لطائفته تختاره كنيسة في بلد متعدّد الكنائس، ورئيس الحكومة في بريطانيا يُنتخب من الشعب مباشرة.

يستطيع الرئيس الحريري أن يُصارح الأطراف اللبنانية الشريكة في المجلس النيابي، خصوصاً الشركاء في تطبيق مضمون اتفاق الطائف من الطوائف الأخرى بأنه يعتقد أن اتفاق الطائف انتهى وبات لبنان يحتاج إلى صيغة جديدة للحكم. وفي هذه الحالة عليه أن يختار بين صيغتين بديلتين، واحدة مدنيّة تحرّر الرئاسات من التوزيع الطائفي وتعتمد انتخاب رئيسي الجمهورية والحكومة من الشعب مباشرة، ونيلهما صلاحيات تشبه صلاحيات كل من رئيس الجمهورية ورئيس الحكومة في فرنسا، وله أن يختار الترشح على أي منهما، أو أن يدعو لنظام رئاسي يُنتخب رئيسه من الشعب وينال صلاحيات تشبه صلاحيات الرئيس الأميركي لكن بدون أي قيد طائفي على حق الترشح للرئاسة. أما أن يحتفظ الحريري من الطائف بتوزيع الرئاسات طائفياً، وينقل مركز تسمية رئيس الحكومة من الاستشارات النيابية التي يجريها رئيس الجمهورية، إلى المشاورات والاتصالات التي قال المرشح السابق لرئيس الحكومة سمير الخطيب إن سماحة مفتي الجمهورية قد أجراها، ويُضيف إلى ذلك حق رئيس الحكومة باختيار الوزراء من خارج الكتل النيابية ليكونوا معاونين لرئيس الحكومة، ويصير رئيس الحكومة ملكاً متوّجاً ويصير لبنان مملكة تسكنها طوائف ويُديرها ملك تختاره مرجعية دينية.

قد يكون الرئيس الحريري قارئاً لتوازنات المعادلة المالية الراهنة ويعتقد أن بمستطاعه تمرير هذاالتعديل الدستوريّ الخطير بجعله عرفاً وسابقة، لكنه مطالَب بأن يقرأ جيداً كيف يتمّ التأسيس للحروب الأهلية، ومطالَبٌ بأن يدرك بأن حصر السلطات بيد موقع دستوري بلون طائفي واحد سبق وجرى اختباره قبل اتفاق الطائف، وأدّى إلى حرب امتدت إلى عشرين سنة، وجاء اتفاق الطائف لينتقلب لبنان إلى مرحلة توزيع الصلاحيات بين المناصب الدستورية تمهيداً للخروج من الطائفية التي يعيده الرئيس الحريري إلى صيغتها المتطرّفة في استنفار الغرائز والعصبيات المجرّبة والمختبرة لعقود. وإذا كان الوضع الاقتصادي الصعب سيحجب عن عيون اللبنانيين هذه النقلة الخطيرة في المجال السياسي والوطني، فإن ذلك لن يمنع بعد مرور وقت مناسب انفجاراً يطيح بكل شيء. ومن حق اللبنانيين على الرئيس الحريري في مثل هذه اللحظة انتظار التضحيات لا تحقيق المكاسب والأرباح السياسية والطائفية، بل من حقهم عليه أن يقول بأن اتفاق الطائف كحارس للصيغة الطائفية،قد أدى وظيفته وبات الخروج من الصيغة الطائفية واجباً ملحاً، وعندها فلن ذهب لنظام مدني ودستور جديد ينظم مؤسسات الدولة وأداءها.

فيديوات مشابهة

مقالات مشابهة

The Lebanese ‘Canary in the Mine’ Is Signalling Mid-East Trouble Ahead

Image result for The Lebanese ‘Canary in the Mine’ Is Signalling Mid-East Trouble Ahead

Alastair Crooke
November 1, 2019
There have been protests (mostly pointing up economic stress) across the region for some months: from Egypt to Iraq. But the Lebanese demonstrations have caught the global attention. And there is no doubting that the Lebanese protests represent a major phenomenon. We may ask whether they are essentially a local manifestation, reflecting only the well-attested Lebanese problems of corruption, widening disparities in wealth, nepotism and failing state structures, or do they signal something much deeper? Lebanon, historically, has been viewed as ‘the bell weather’ – pointing up the general health of this region.

Well, if Lebanon is indeed such, we might conclude that the patient is presenting rather feverish symptoms. But that should not be so surprising. For, the region is already experiencing strategic ‘shock’ – and this condition is likely to be much aggravated by the additional psychological stresses of fast-approaching economic crisis. Of course, Lebanon is ‘special’ in its own distinct way – but ‘yes’, Lebanon precisely is giving warning of a turbulence quietly incubating across the Middle East.

The ‘strategic shock’ is represented by the collapse of long-established landmarks: the US is departing Afghanistan, and the Middle East. The Wolfowitz doctrine of US primacy across the region is drawing to a close. Yes, there will be push-back in parts of the ‘liberal’ western Establishment – and there will be periods of two US steps ‘out’ from the region, and with another ‘in’.

But the psychic reality of this incontrovertible ‘fact’ has seared itself into the regional psyche. Those who dined liberally from the cornucopia of power and wealth under the ‘old order’ are understandably frightened – their protective cover is being snatched away.

This shift has been signalled in so many ways: the US non-reaction to the Iranian downing of its drone; the US’ non-reaction to the 14 September Aramco strikes; the red-carpet laid down for President Putin in Riyadh – that the direction of US policy ‘travel’ is plain. Yet, nothing signals it more evidently than Secretary Pompeo’s recent message to Israel, during his last visit: i.e. you, O Israel, should feel free to respond to any threats to your security, from whatever source, and arising from wherever. (Translation: You (Israel) are on your own), but please don’t escalate tensions. (Translation: don’t place our American forces as ‘pig-in-the-middle’ of your disputes, as we want the withdrawal to proceed smoothly). Of course, Trump doesn’t want Congress snapping at his trouser legs, as he unfolds this controversial act.

If this be the message handed out to Israel, then of course, it applies – in spades – to the Lebanese élites who have dined so well under the previous regime – whilst their Lebanese compatriots succumbed to ever greater impoverishment. The Russian diplomatic and security achievement for Syria, as evidenced in the communiqué issued this week after the Sochi summit with Erdogan, upends the old landmarks across the northern tier of the Middle East. In Syria evidently, but Lebanon and Iraq too. The new reality demands new dispositions.

This might be ‘bad news’ for some, but the very moment of facing reality – of making hard choices (i.e. that the US can no longer afford, and the world will no longer finance, its global military presence) – may also have ‘its silver lining’. That is to say, the end to US occupation of part of Syria may concomitantly well unlock a political settlement in Syria – and upturn fossilised and corrupt establishments in neighbouring states too.

This – the uprooting of old, embedded landmarks – which leaves America and Saudi Arabia as waning stars in the regional political cosmos – is but one backdrop to events in Lebanon. An old order is seen to be fading. Might even the Ta’if constitutional settlement in Lebanon, which Saudi Arabia used to lock tight, and petrify, a Sunni-led sectarian establishment be now in play?

Again too, across the Arab world, there is a legitimacy-deficit staining existing élites. But it applies not just to the Middle East. As protesters peer around the world, through their smart phones, how can they fail to observe the low-intensity ‘civil war’ – the polarised protests – in the US, the UK and parts of Europe, waged precisely against certain élites. What price then, western ‘values’ – if westerners themselves are at war over them?

Of course, this dis-esteem for global élites is connected to that other powerful dynamic affecting the Middle East: the latter may not be in a ‘good place’ politically, but it is in an even worse place economically. In Lebanon, one-third of Lebanese are living below the poverty line, while the top one percent hold one-quarter of the nation’s wealth, according to the United Nations. This is not the exception for the region – It is the norm.

And intimations of global slow-down and recession are touching the region. We all know the figures: half of the population in under 25. What is their future? Where is there some ‘light’ to this tunnel?

The western world is in the very late stage to a trade and credit cycle (as the economists describe it). A down-turning is coming. But there are indications too, that we may be approaching the end of a meta-cycle, too.

The post-WW2 period saw the US leverage the war-consequences to give it its dollar hegemony, as the world’s unique trading currency. But also, circumstances were to give US banks the exceptional ability to issue fiat credit across the globe at no cost (the US simply could ‘print’ its fiat credit). But ultimately that came at a price: the limitation – to being the global rentier – became evident through the consequence of the incremental impoverishment of the American Middle Classes – as well-paid jobs evaporated, even as America’s financialised banking balance sheet ballooned.

Today, we seem to be entering a new cycle period, with different trade characteristics. We are in a post-general manufacturing era. Those jobs are gone to Asia, and are not ‘coming home’. The ‘new’ trade war is no longer about building a bigger bankers’ balance sheet; but about commanding the top-end of tech innovation and manufacturing – which is to say, gaining command of its ‘high peaks’ that, in turn, offer the ability to dominate, and impose the industry standards for the next decades. This – tech standards – is, as it were, the new ‘currency’, the new ‘dollar’ of the coming era. It is, of course, all about states maintaining political power.

So, what has this to do with the Middle East? Well, quite a lot. The new, global tech competition implies a big problem (as one Washington commentator noted to me). It is this: what to with the 20% of Americans that would become ‘un-needed’ in this new top-end tech era – especially when lower paid jobs are being progressively robotised.

Here is the point: This tech ‘war’ will be between the US, China and (to a lesser extent) Russia. Europe will be a bit-player, hard pressed to compete. If the US thinks it will end with 20% of population surplus to requirement, for Europe it likely will be higher; and for the Middle East? It does not bear thinking about.

The Middle East is still a fossil fuel fed economy (at time when fossil fuel is fast falling out of fashion, capital expenditure is paused, and growth forecasts for demand, are being cut). Even Lebanon’s economy – which has no oil – is (paradoxically) still an oil economy. The Lebanese either work in the Gulf, servicing the ancillary services to a fossil-fuel based economy and remit their savings to Lebanese banks, or work in the Lebanese financial sector, managing savings derived largely from this sector.

The point is, how will the region find a future for a young population that is out-running the continent’s water and (useful) land resources, if fossil fuel cannot be the employment driver?

It won’t? Then expect a lot more protests.

%d bloggers like this: