Saturday, December 24, 2005

Nasrallah's Coup d' Etat

I was hoping not to post an entry today. I wanted Santa Claus to cheer up everyone who visited the site.
Habbit, unfortunately, took me to the Daily Star website, where I read an article entitled, Nasrallah calls for new government representing all political parties. The article quoted Nasrallah telling his interviewer on al Manar the following:

A cabinet of national unity is needed to face the challenges facing Lebanon, a cabinet that includes all parties from outside and inside Parliament.

If the country is in danger and facing major threat, then we have to have a government of all parties...

Nasrallah's intentions are clear. He wants to show Lebanese that his position regarding Lebanon's posture in regional and international relations is not merely a Hizballah or a Shi'a one. He wants to prove that his message resonates across all sects, and needs government spokesmen from those sects to deliver the message. Nasrallah is probably sick of hearing headlines that state "Shi'a ministers withdraw from cabinet." He would rather read the following: "March 8 bloc" withdraws from cabinet session. Of course, the March 8 bloc will include those stooges previously propped up by Damascus, such as Arslan, Sleiman Franjieh, Karami, etc....
Such an audacious political maneuver by Hizballah can be justified by the oft-repeated claim that the 2000 electoral law was not really democratic. Critics of the current parliament have continuously said that it is not really representative of the Lebanese public because of the electoral law that helped bring it to power. It now appears that Hizballah will use that argument to publicly push its case for including political parties that were not popularly elected.
This latest political move by Hizballah truly is audacious. Back during the elections, I asserted that although they were unfair, the elections at least removed Syria's "zulum" from parliament. Between 70 to 80 parliamentarians were expelled from that institution, a fact that turned it into the only political entity in the country where Syria's direct control was effectively and decisively expelled. Today, by calling for a "national unity" cabinet that overlooks parliament, Nasrallah is invalidating it. Nasrallah is effectively saying that the parliament is a useless institution (on a side note, I wonder how Berri feels about this).
In this new arrangement, Nasrallah decides who should be in the cabinet. He will partially stuff the cabinet, as other dictators do in countries that advertise their quasi democracies. Nasrallah is indirectly declaring himself as the dictator of Lebanon, who has the right to appoint cabinet ministers and nullify the parliament. He cannot accept his status as a minority among minorities. He needs to be the majority! He has gotten used to it!
I expected better from that man. I truly did! He cannot be allowed to destroy the Lebanese democratic system - no matter how imperfect it is. I am afraid that the prediction I made in my post a couple of days ago regarding Hizballah's inability to play by the rules of the game have been manifested. I hope events in the coming days prove me wrong.


Anton Efendi said...

I'm glad you picked up on that piece. It's remarkable how everything he lays out is unconstitutional, undemocratic, and openly calls for reestablishing Syria as arbiter of Lebanese affairs. All of them are traps. So far, it's said that Seniora hasn't bitten. I hope he doesn't. It would be a disaster.

Anton Efendi said...

And by the way, this is the Syrian demand. It's very clear Nasrallah is doing their bidding in Lebanon in that regard. They want two things: for us to stop accusing them of the murder, and silence all criticism (so Nasrallah tells us to reconsider Israel as the culprit and let Syria off the hook). And for the Seniora government to go, and for a change to happen in the political scene whereby Syrian goons would reenter and bark as they used to against critics of Syria, so Syria can say the critics are a "minority." Nasrallah again is offering them that.

The blackmail entailed in his speech is truly revolting.

Anonymous said...

I hope that Sayyed Nasrallah really means what he says. HA is a respectable Lebanese party and is always welcome to join the 14th of March movement. But undermining Lebanon's sovereignty is not acceptable.

They need to reconsider their policy and to do what is best for their community: build and independent and properous Lebanon.

Anton Efendi said...

Here's the piece from al-Hayat that mentioned the Syrians "doubting the legitimacy" of Seniora's government. It happened the day before Nasrallah gave his interview.

Anton Efendi said...

Naseer al-As'ad says it rather well. Scroll down towards the bottom part.

Ghassan said...

Anton Efendi is right on the money when he suggests, actually says that HA is doing Syrias bidding. Mr. Nassrallah says in the interview in question that "Syria is not coming back I guarantee it". Why would they come back when they can have their Lebanese lacklies and agents do their work for them? I have stated this position numerous times over the last few months and I will say it again, HA must not be given the chance to participate in laying the foundations for a society (a civil one ) that they are at odds with. It was a mistake to allow HA to become a member of the founding cabinet , it was a mistake to appease their demands to stay in governemt, it was a mistake to offer them a platform from which to undermine democracy and it will become a fatal mistake for the Lebanese democratic project if HA is to be continously given a preferrential treatment .

May I also suggest that the interview in question does not rise to thelevel of being considered news. When AlManar interviews HA that it tantamount to someone interviewing himself/herself. The process lacks objectivity and is built on nothing else but conflict of interest.

Solomon2 said...

What is to prevent Nasrallah from staging a coup, inviting Iranian missiles and Syrian goons in, and taking control of the country? Why should he "play by the rules of the game" when he can make his own?

If "hope" is the only answer, I don't think Lebanon will maintain its current "independence" much longer. You need to mobilize more huge demonstrations and add determined troops to do that.