Thursday, January 19, 2006

Istiqrar wa Istiqlal: Different And Not The Same

I so much want to write this post in Arabic, but I'll do with what I can through this venue in English.

There is a great difference between stability (istiqrar) and independence (istiqlal). There is a great difference.

Yesterday, after meeting with Iran's President Ahmadinejad, Syrian President Assad said the following: "We have reasserted our support for stability in Lebanon, the importance of backing the resistance and preventing any intervention in Lebanon's internal affairs and in internationalizing these affairs."

President Assad continues, "We have agreed to support the Palestinian people and to endorse the formation of an independent Palestinian state."

The Syrian President very clearly still does not endorse an independent, sovereign Lebanon. He makes sure not to say these terms on record. However, it seems not difficult for him to endorse the independence for the Palestinian state; which I personally endorse...along with my country's independence.

But what does stability mean for Lebanon? Stability can mean not moving forward, not witnessing change. Change and progress have always brought with them turmoil; and people throughout modern history have come up with mechanisms to mitigate for the negative effects of change and to highlight the positive aspects of progress. I view instability at times in Lebanon as a healthy sign of us moving forward, of us progressing; unlike the past 15 years which I recall vividly, where I was told to be glad that Lebanon is being rebuilt, but that being afraid of instigating change should be a given.

I was raised to be afraid of a mythical character, a character I have not seen, but one which overhears, spies, bribes, tortures, and kills.

And what does President Assad mean when he declares that he has agreed with Ahmadinejad that any intervention in Lebanon's internal affairs should be prevented, including the internationalization (tadweel) of these affairs? Who will he prevent from intervening? And how will he prevent any internationalization of our affairs? I would have liked if President Assad educated his audience of the tools he will resort to in order to accomplish his foreign policies.

Of how much I thought that Ahmadinejad's statements would be more inflammatory than Assad's, I was disappointed to find the opposite was true.

Ahmadinejad, in fact, had a better statement to declare: "We are of the conviction that the Lebanese peoples are dear, generous, are able to solve the problems facing them on their own, and are able to rely on themselves."

I can say to that, yes, I believe so, Mr. Ahmadinejad. I believe that we can, and we will try our best, to rely on ourselves and face and solve our problems on our own, if we are given the chance to.

In the face of inevitable western and eastern internationalization of Lebanon, in the face of so many countries caring for our stability and independence at once, I stand helpless. Can our Parliament reconvene? Perhaps it was the days when free Parliamentarians raised their voices from the Parliament's podium into the viewers' and listeners' hearts, on the eve of March 14 of 2005, that I felt Lebanon was truely free and independent.

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


Anonymous said...

Totally agree!

Anton Efendi said...

For whatever it's worth, and it may not be worth anything at all, it's interesting to contrast Ahmadinejad's statement about the capability of the Lebanese to solve their own problems (whatever he may have meant with that), with Nasrallah's statement that the Lebanese cannot govern themselves and need the Arabs to interfere and mediate.

Ghassan said...

Liars contradict each other! Assad, Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah can't even agree on the "internationalization"!

Anonymous said...

Lebanon is a weak country because people are attached to their community stronger than to their country. The leaders of these communities have totally different vision of what the country should be. No one, maybe except Aoun, has a global vision. The others are motivated by petty scoring on the other community, like clans in a village, poisoned by vendetta and emotional manifestations. God help us!