Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mass rallies

Lebanon has been the scene of two gigantic mass rallies, the first on 22nd September 2006, organised by Hezbollah and its charismatic leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, and attended by some half a million people, mostly Shia'a Moslems, and the second, organised by the leader of the "Forces Libanaises", a Christian formation attended by the same number of people, mainly Christians. Sadly, the Sunni Moslems of Lebanon have been marginalised, for lack of dynamic leadership.

The speech of Sheikh Hassan addressed itself to several issues; the first is that Hezbollah is here to stay as a strong political force without which Lebanon cannot be governed; the second is that the weapons arsenal of Hezbollah, which includes, according to Sheikh Hassan. some twenty thousand long range missiles, will not be surrendered and that Hezbollah cannot be disarmed or disbanded by force, and the third that the Lebanese army is not strong enough nor sufficiently well equipped to defend Lebanon; hence Hezbollah.

On the other side, the Christian rally which represented a reply to the Shia'a Moslem challenge, is intended to emphasize that the Christians of Lebanon are the "raison d'ĂȘtre" of that country and that without them, Lebanon would not have existed but would have been absorbed by Syria and that Hezbollah is no more than an instrument of Iranian-cum- Syrian politics in the Middle East.

It would seem quite evident that there is a deep rift in the Lebanese politic body, which sooner or later will turn into confrontation and probably civil war which, should it ever come to pass, will destroy Lebanon as a country within its present frontiers.

The Lebanese Government, on the other hand, finds itself between the devil and the blue sea. The Prime Minister, totally supported by the leader of the Parliamentary majority, Saad Hariri, is doing his best to govern the country and to proceed with the reconstruction of the total havoc created by Israel in South Lebanon and the southern outskirts of Beirut in its savage war on that country with United States encouragement and military assistance.

All this leads the Wizard to conclude that Lebanon, in its present frontiers, is doomed, and that its only hope is to reactivate the plan, presented in 1920 by the first High Commissioner over Lebanon, the General Gouraud, to create Lebanon on the basis of the historic "entente" between Druze and Maronites, namely the area between the Litani river in the south and the Nahr el Bared in the north. The Shia'a Moslems of the south and the Sunni Moslems of the north would return to Syria, with love from Lebanon.

Water under the bridge, you might say, but then all history is so much water under the bridge.

1 comment:

Ze Carioca said...

Unfortunately, the situation is indeed gloomy. However, I believe that there may be a third solution. Creation of various Cantons, same as Switzerland, and Lebanon becoming a Confederation Libanaise. Do you know that in Switzerland, the President of the Confederation is changing every year. He is selected from the Conseil Federal. But Canton does not mean chaos at the level of Defense forces. The only weapons are in the hand of the Federal Government, although local Police duties are handled at the Canton level. Time for the Lebanese to think about it.