Thursday, August 24, 2006

Power To Help, Power To Deprive

Quickly, two news items:

French President Chirac has announced that he will be sending 2,000 French troops to Lebanon and claims that they are ready to head the UN peacekeeping force.

The second news item is that Syria has officially decided to cut off its power supply to Lebanon. During the month-long war Syria has helped Lebanon get access to more hours of electricity around the country. Now, many parts of the country will be in the dark.

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


Lirun said...

that must be one of the strangest acts i have ever heard of.. you allow refugees in but then you punish their relatives?

assad - you are beyond me buddy


Andrey said...

So maybe Lebanon can deploy the UN forces along their border with syria now?

Bad Vilbel said...

Not strange at all, in fact. Yesterday Assad threatened to close all the borders with Lebanon if UN troops were deployed along the Lebanon-Syria border.

And then he has the GALL to talk about Lebanese sovereignty! He doesn't want Lebanon to exercise its right to police its borders, and then he talks about sovereignty. He calls a deployment of UN troops "hostile", but then he blockades Lebanon..I wonder where he learned the definition of the word "hostile". Certainly not the same definition I'm familiar with.

And now I watch President Lahoud defending Syria's comments....What a putz!

chuck said...

assad has decided it's time to show he is not such a week leader as has been said about him. he wants to show the lebanese people that they r still dependent on syria.
i just hope he doesn't go with this too far...

Solomon2 said...

If Israel bombing Lebanese power plants is considered a crime, is Assad's arbitrary shut-off of power to Lebanon also a crime, or is it a matter outside international law because Syria has not yet officially recognized Lebanon as an independent state?

Lirun said...

there would certainly be issues here under international law..technically - if lebanon is not treated as a separate state - it would still probably constitute a minority of sorts and this could well be considered a form of collective punishment of this minority for the decisions of its leadership and otherwise a deprivation of human rights - particularly considering the consequential impact..

remember that international law is a body of rules that discusses obligations recognised internationally.. however.. it is not only about cross border issues..


Sherri said...

Syria's actions, including their threat to close their borders, seem to be in resistance to the idea of United Nations officials being placed along their borders to patrol their borders with Lebanon.

I heard on television yesterday that new United Nations Resolutions may be proposed that address, among other things, a prohibition on arms transfers to Hezbullah from outside sources.

I also heard that there is a way out of this for the Lebanese government, if they invoke a chapter from the past resolution that essentially allows only for United Nations personnel to be used within Lebanon in methods that the Lebanese government agrees to.

If the Lebanese government is to have true sovereignty and control of their own country, the issue of disarming Hezbullah or controlling Hezbullah should be left to the Lebanese government to deal with internally.

Does Lebanon really need Israel or the United States maintaining continuing control and power over their country through demanding and burdensome requirements within United Nations resolutions?

The more burdens are placed upon Lebanon by United Nations resolutions, the more opportunities there are for Israel to justify future inavasions of Lebanon on the grounds that Lebanon is not following requirements set forth by those resolutions.

Concerning the issue of whether the Lebanese government can control Hezbullah, notice that Hezbullah is not breaking the cease fire. It is only Israel that continues to engage in acts that violate the ceasefire, such as the raid in Northern Lebanon several days ago.

The Middle East News Addict said...

Assad's threats should not come as a surprise to anyone who understands the nature of relations between Hezbollah, Syria and Teheran. Hezbollah can pay its way to the people's hearts as long as Syria and Iran give the money and the weaopns. They give the two as long as Hezbollah (and by extension Lebanon) serve their interest of fighting Israel to secure Irab's and Syria's quest for Arab world domination. The formula is clear: sacrifice Lebanese people through supporting Hezbollah so Syria and Iran can claim glory at their expense in the Arab world.

Now as long as the fighting continued, there was no problem accepting the refugees. It helped ease criticism of Hezbollah and allowed Assad to reinsert Syria into the Lebanese conciousness after being kicked out in the Ceder revolution. With the ceasefire, the mounting criticism of Hezbollah over the damage, and the huge costs of reconstruction (12000$ a person is a hefty sum from the Hezbollah war funding and peanuts from the cost of reconstruction), Hezbollah (and again by extension Lebanon) are no longer useful or cost effective for Syria and Iran in the fight against Israel. Time to switch from carrots to sticks. And so Assad did.

An intl. force supported by the ELECTED government of Lebanon would severly limit Hezbollah and people's support is on the decline, so what better way than to punish the families of those he helped, and press Lebanon's government through war. As someone noted either in this blog or Beirutspring, Assad doesn't think an intl. force in his border with Israel is an act of war because such a war would be very costly. With Lebanon, it is cheap.

It is time for Lebanon to consider a new path looking to its southern neighbour just like Jordan, Egypt, Qatar Mauritania and a host of other cuontries in the Arab world who have or have not diplomatic relations with Israel, but certainly have trade ties.

You don't have to like somebody, it's just business... and life.

Yohay Elam said...

The French decision is excellent. A total of 7000 European soldiers is a good development.
Syria should be cut off!

chuck said...

sherri, u seem to be such a hugh suporter of resistance in any way it is possible. u'r claim that syria is now cutting off the power to lebanon as a "resistance" to the un resolution is just too much.

u r so insisted on blaming Israel in making a "crime against humanity" in attacking hisballa in lebanon, thus hurting civilians, but u excuse syria's act of cutting the electricity to lebanese civilians as a resistance agaisnt the UN ??

syria is "resisting" the UN resolution of closing the border with lebanon and putting an embargo on weapons to hisballa because it will lose it's control in lebanon, and in hisballa. it will lose it's ability to rearm hisballa and support it's violent acts against Israel.

cutting off the power is merely a way to show that lebanon is still dependent on syria, and that's the way syria wants to keep it, and that's why syria threatens the UN force that will come, while saying this force is actually "damaging" labnese soverenghty.

the UN force will also prevent syria from, sometime in the future, invade lebanon.