As I write this entry, I am filled with anger and pain, but I know we should not stop writing...
In response to Tony and Mustapha, who posed some legitimate questions yesterday on the Opposition's stances towards Hizbullah and Amal, and particularly the issue that Michael Young has posed on a probable deal struck between Jumblatt and Berri, I say this:
Yesterday evening I watched Faris Khashan's interview with Jumblatt. In the back of my head I was praying Faris would ask the questions that have occupied our minds for a while and luckily enough, he did.
He asked Jumblatt: What do you say to some sources who are supposing that your alliance with Hizbullah and Amal would guarantee a return of Berri to head the Parliament? Jumblatt said that according to the process that has been always followed, the Shia political community usually nominates several figures and then the Parliament choses. (Just like the Maronites field names for the Presidency and the Parliament choses, and the same goes for the Sunni community when chosing a Prime Minister--my explanation).
So what do you say about this answer? Jumblatt is guaranteeing nothing.
Jumblatt is indeed a rarity in the Lebanese political leadership; who is able to knit an intricate regional and international geostrategic web of projections and analysis in one breath? He can. Yesterday he answered to the rationale behind allying with Hizbullah. He explained that after France's referendum that shook the prospects of a strong EU and Schroeder's shaken prospects as a Prime Minister, Europe as a contender to America's hegemony is seeming to falter. His fear is that some members of the political scene in the U.S. might be entertaining ideas of returning to the old way of doing business in Lebanon: namely resuscitating the Syrian presence in the country, now that any positive prospects after the Iraqi elections have failed and the U.S. is stuck in a quagmire of blood there; it would just be attractive to return to the status quo. That is why more than any time before, he explained that there is a need for the Lebanese to work together to come up with viable solutions to our internal issues before other countries step in to dictate to us the way forward. (And on that issue I say that there were some reports claiming that Saudi Arabia is pushing for regime change in Syria and the U.S. is being cautious to push for that yet.) He even extended an invitation to Aoun in the hope that they could work alongside one another for a better Lebanon after the elections.
As for Lebanon-Profile's question once that Hizbullah's disarmament issue is not an internal one but rather a regional and an international one, Jumblatt explained that without reaching a compromise and a settlement on the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Hizbullah follower (and even him, he said) cannot be convinced that he should put down arms, because at the heart of resistance lies the issue of Jerusalem.
Michael Young (and Tony) assume Jumblatt as a political player operates from the stand of being threatened and weak. However, he does not appear to be as such; he confessed that he doesn't like to play the "we-are-a-minority" card and if he was to do so, the current political landscape would have by far looked different.
And to the question of why he changes his mind all the time, something that many criticize him about (and I always question that myself), he answered that he reacts to events and trends occurring around us, that go beyond just Lebanon, and tries to incorporate them into his political analysis and decisions.
I understand him. He is just like one of us eager to read into everything that happens around us, loves to look at the big picture, and tries to make sense of it. However, he is always judged from the standpoint of a Druze leader/warlord who plans his political moves based on parochial and domestic calculations. Even I confess that at times I seize to see the big picture; Lebanese politics has the tendency to consume the mind and to capture the heart and on a daily basis!
"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."