Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The kind of discourse I want to hear!!! And the next steps I would take!

Yesterday, the acting Interior Minister, Ahmad Fatfat issued a formal request to the Syrian authorities to remove Syrian Army units from positions that are one to four kilometers inside of Lebanese territory.
"We have asked the governor of the Bekaa (in eastern Lebanon), Antoine Soleiman, to promptly engage in contacts with the governor of the suburbs of Damascus to ask him ... to remove the sand berms, which have all been placed on Lebanese territory," AFP
What tickled me the most was Ahmad Fatfat's following comment regarding the Syrian transgression,

"If these sand berms, which were probably meant to fight smuggling on the border, are necessary, then they should be erected on the border or inside Syrian territory,"

"The problem is that they are on Lebanese territory, and we do not want, after some time, to be a facing a 'new Shebaa Farms'" AFP
Go Fatfat!!!!

He should have also said: "We do not want to live with another "Security Zone" for the next 10 to 20 years."

Of course, nothing will come of this statement. Fatfat is known to be the loose cannon in the Hariri camp, and they do appear to provide him with some leeway to speak his mind. The frail Saudis are threatened by any signs of increased instability in the region, and the last thing they want is escalation on the Lebanon-Syria front. The Hariris have no choice but to oblige - or lose their income!

What would I have done if I was in control? Well... let me tell you what I would have done.

Do any of you remember that one international incident between Morocco and Spain that revolved around contested islands in the Mediteranean? Morocco basically sent troops to set up camp and create a de facto reality, and then Spain sent its own troops in retaliation. Ultimately, the Spanish troops "arrested" the Moroccans and sent them back home.

Well, if I was in Fatfat or Elias el Murr's shoes, I would do the same. I'd look for a unit of the Lebanese Army that is sitting around, doing nothing. Then I'd send them to that Syrian outpost to arrest the Syrians who have manned it.

Whatever the outcome of that move, I think Lebanon would win. If the Syrians fight back, then the Army unit would retreat. If the unit is able to complete its mission, then all the better.

The point is that the Lebanese government would have taken the initiative to bring the border demarcation issue back into prominence. Furthermore, if the Army sustains pressure on Bashar's regime by repeating this exercise in the different locations of Lebanon where "Syrian outposts" exist, then maybe the Syrians will get tired, and oblige to our demands. The Saudis may be weak, but so is Bashar. The last thing he wants, is to be in the limelight. He's happy living in obscurity in his Damascus cave.

Again, we don't need to have a strong military. We won't be invading Syria. All we'll be doing is asserting Lebanese sovereignty. And in the process adding fuel to the flame that Bashar is sitting on at the moment!

Frankly, Lebanon has nothing to lose; and this political/military move would hit two birds with one stone - both as a worthy end in and of itself and as a means to pressure an adversary.


Doha said...

My God, just wanted to write a post on this. It was the highlight of my morning. That's what we need more of :)

JoseyWales said...

Go Fatfat, Be bold.

Ask HA to mount resistance operations in the area.

Ask Lahoud to go to Damascus to resolve this.

Where's the Arab League?

This is how you campaign to get your point across, get support and embarrass your oppoents. Are you listening Seniora?

Screw publicly begging the US and Kuwait and Jibril and whomever.

Z3ouré said...

actually, any nation worth of its name would have done what you're suggesting Raja. Public statements, bold or otherwise, ma bi ta3mo khebiz! Send the Army over and remove the foreign intruders, period. No diplomacy needed. But I'm talking about a nation worthy of its name here; Lebanon, who allows armed Hizbayré thugs roam and extort scott-free need not apply.

JoseyWales said...

Of course Z3oure is right.

Send the army, kick them out and then yell all the things I mention above.

I blogged a zillion times on the need to USE the friggin army YESTERDAY versus Jibril and Jund el Sham and Frangieh's goons and and and...

Tiring, very tiring.

Lazarus said...


i'm sure the following ISN'T the discourse you want to hear (from the dailystar):

BEIRUT/ERSAL: Lebanon's Premier Fouad Siniora said Wednesday that the issue of the sand-berms, which were erected by Syrian border guards inside Lebanese territory, was "not worrying and would not lead to any problems." Talking to reports after his meeting in Parliament with Speaker Nabih Berri, he said that he did not think the berms were helping the Syrians stop smuggling across the borders.

Siniora reiterated that he had asked Bekaa's governor, Antoine Suleiman, to solve the issue with Syrian authorities with "wisdom and carefulness."

JoseyWales said...

Sorry guys, but I've had it.

Fuck Seniora and every freak who keeps saying blah blah Syrian-Lebanese relations before the Assad regime is DEAD.

Raja said...

what this episode proves is that the Lebanese state is nonexistent. The Army is nonexistent. Both are merely bloated employers of last resort. Yeah, yeah, we all know this stuff. But, heck! Such a shame!

Anonymous said...

hehehhe, Raja, you are reminding me of something a crazy lunatic *wink* said TV.

It was a couple of weeks ago when government was complaining about illegal smugling of trucks into Lebanon with syrian armed men protecting them, and LBC had a tape fo the trucks.

Aouns said on al-arabia i think, what a masquarade if you can have enough information in order to film them on tape, give that info to the governement and let them arrest the trucks and the armed men otherwise stop complaining and making up excuses and whining about syria's wrongdoing.

Of course, in the same interview, he also said Hariri Jr. is a political amateur , and as we all know that is the most imporatant part and the only one worth listening to, so everyone kept replying and counter replying until FM and FPM both opened every can of worms and none of them could get any lower than the other fa they dropped it.


Anonymous said...

Syria should be removed from Lebanese territory. I am not anti Syria, but land in my village of Ras Baalbeck has been disputed for years, back to the Ottaman days, albeit land no one is using, and deep behind the mountain frontier.