Wednesday, December 21, 2005

From March 2005: The Lebanese Army Vs. Hizbullah

I was reading back in my diary and came across some thoughts I transcribed back in March 2005. Apart from the posts I published on this blog: Lebanon's Free Will Best Bet for Syria and Hizbullah: The Next Contentious Issue On Our Agenda (which if you quickly read, you will realize how the political situation in Lebanon has not drastically changed since March 2005), please read below an unpublished post on the Lebanese Army:

"This idea just dawned at me: Hizbullah is stronger than the Lebanese Army. It's a homogenous cohesive entity, unlike the heterogenous nature of the Army--which renders it vulnerable and open to internal division and external pressures.

"Hizbullah's forces are of one sect, subscribe to one creed, and are from around the same region. Again--unlike the Army.

"Our sense of nationalism is loose. Our political background is not based on a single party system or a military regime. Therefore, our Army has a tough task at creating notions that would forge a strong bond between its soldiers and barracks.

"I'm thinking of France, Syria, or the United States--their sense of patriotism is strong, despite the differences in their political histories. In Lebanon--a shaky sense of patriotism. We, alas, have not learned yet as individuals to balance our allegiances: the public and the private...failed to draw the lines. When would be that day? When these competing allegiances (which we are free and entitled to have) seize to threaten the state? I'm aware that such process is a long-term goal...basically any change on the cultural level.

"So the question in my head is: Do we start with the institution of the Army? Should we be pushing on a policy level for an Army that is strong, solid, and secure (i.e. free from the vulnerability and possibility of division whenever a state legitimacy crisis occurs)? Perhaps it should be a front, while tackling other fronts, such as education and political reforms.

"I am curious as to what is taught in terms of curriculae to military officers in Lebanon, especially with regards to civics and culture. Of course, as a woman, I have no exposure to that institution and cannot answer that question.

"And I go back to my original thought: that of the difference between Hizbullah's one-creed party and Lebanon's "mix 'n' match" Army. Diversity is a strength, but is a weakness--two faces of the same coin. We need to think seriously of infusing the notions of patriotism into our Army, lest we remain forever weak and divided."

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After the discouraging news from yesterday, looks like the mrach 14 alliance is getting its act together today. Hariri's long awaited comments in the aftermath of the Tueni assasination are most welcome. And Saniora's interference to suspend the abrupt aowardly relocation of Assaf is refreshing and great!