December 16, 2006

Hizbullah's weapons, the Hariri tribunal and chapter 7

By Abu Kais

The time of compromises is over.

Nothing surprising in what follows. Here's Mahmoud Komati, deputy head of Hezbollah's political bureau, speaking to AP.

Komati said Hezbollah started asking for greater share in the government only after the July-August war with Israel and that one of the key reasons was to prevent the pro-U.S. government from forcing it to disarm.

``Now we are demanding it (greater government share), because our experience during the war and the performance of the government has made us unsure. On several occasions they pressured us to lay down our weapons while we were fighting a war,'' Komati told The Associated Press in a huge tent, one of hundreds Hezbollah has erected for sit-ins just outside Saniora's office.

``So after the war, we had no choice but to demand this guarantee that would give us legal and constitutional strength. If we take the one-third plus one, the government will not be able to impose its decision on us,'' said Komati.

Of course, all the government tried to do is getting them to commit to discussing their disarmament AFTER the war, and as part of a "national dialogue." Hizbullah has been waging a vicious campaign against Saad Hariri, accusing him of daring to ask Hassan Nasrallah for a commitment to disarm. Although Hariri was trying to extract a promise from the holy leader to do what I said at the top of the paragraph, in hopes to avoid a resolution being passed under chapter 7-- it was blown out of proportion by Hizbullah's media and now Hariri has been declared a traitor.

Of course Hariri and Siniora should not have bothered to spare Hizbullah a chapter 7 resolution. As we saw, they wasted no time re-arming, and have shown no gratitude towards efforts to save them in the name of "national unity"—a term they interpret to mean "unity around our weapons."

For all this, the next step should be obvious to Siniora. Let the Hariri tribunal pass under chapter 7, as was suggested before the Lebanese government asked for it to pass through the Lebanese institutions. The likes of Hizbullah and their sponsors understand democracy to mean consensus on their policies, so there is no benefit in giving them the tribunal card to terrorize the country until their demands are met.

The civil war that Siniora wanted to avoid had a chapter 7 resolution forcing Hizbullah to disarm passed, will take place precisely because Hizbullah is an ungrateful, war-obsessed entity that deserves no special treatment outside the rule of law. Like the Assad regime, they use terror to get what they want, albeit in Hizbullah's case, it is political (but for how long?).

According to al-Mustaqbal, France and the US are preparing a chapter 7 resolution regarding the Hariri tribunal, meaning the Lebanese government would be spared the need to approve it in parliament. Hizbullah and the Assad regime are being given until the end of the year to either accept a compromise being worked on by Amr Moussa, or face a chapter 7 resolution. Siniora went to Moscow because the Russians think they can broker a deal between the Lebanese cabinet and their comrades in the Assad regime over the tribunal (Assad is expected to visit Russia soon after). But Moscow might not be able to veto this one, as the French and Americans will not allow the regime and Hizbullah to blow Lebanon into smithereens. Let us not forget that UNIFIL has the mandate to intervene as a protection force if Hizbullah threatens Lebanese security—something that even fundamentalist Fathi Yakan understood when he lashed out at his allies' calls to storm the Serail. 

Finally, the real onus is not only on the Lebanese cabinet and army, but also on the Lebanese marching in support of Hizbullah and Aoun (at least those not getting paid in "clean and honorable Iranian money"). Will they wake up to see where their idols are taking them?

In the meantime, chapter 7 never looked so good.

Posted by Abu Kais at December 16, 2006 08:23 AM
Comments

I uploaded a bit of recent news regarding the Hariri Tribunal here:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsuwk_hariri-tribunal-update-dec-13-2006

As well as more related news here (a bit seen with Assad meeting with Nelson)

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xszsq_lebanon-news-dec-14-2006

Watching news like this makes my imagination run wild - the timing of the war this past summer and the Hariri Tribunal, and now the demonstrations going in in Beirut..

All very suspicious to me...

Posted by: Cindy at December 16, 2006 09:59 AM

HIZ’S HATE POLITICS
Hating is so boring and unoriginal. Every group on earth has been victimized, but hate is a choice. Those who hate, clinging to it as an addiction, passing it on to their children, cherishing it inside themselves, using it as the centerpiece of their lives, are finally left with nothing. Hate, quite simply, like other addictions, is a waste of time and energy. If you give up your brain to it, reason is pushed aside by constant anger, paranoia, righteous indignation, dreams of revenge, and self-justification. Thoughts and words are obsessively repeated again and again, day after day, with nothing to show for it, no progress, no change, just like other addictions. People do not have hate – hate has them.

Democracy has always been under attack, and the attackers have always been full of hate. Fascists, Communists, Islamists, to name a few... No one has a right to spread and incite hate. People do not have a right to teach hate in schools, holy places, religious meetings, street demonstrations, or even community picnics. I offer you a demonstration: go into your room, alone, and spend the rest of your life hating Israel, or Sunni’s, or anything else. When you die, we will put on your epitaph: “he hated”. Disappointing, no?

Hate can be confronted. Accept it from no-one, point it out when you see it, disagree with it, refuse to listen, refuse to apologize, fire haters, jail them, sue them, vote against them, and forgive them. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA: "Sherif Ali, so long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little people; a silly people; greedy, barbarous, and cruel, as you are." Lawrence loved the Arabs, risked his life for them, helped them reconquer their lands from the Ottomans, but the hate thing really bothered him.

HIZ wants to wallow in hate, but they don’t want to pay for it. They think hate is supposed to be free, but it’s not, it’s very expensive. Spouting hate makes others feel threatened, and they react against you. Hate is a stepping-stone to war, and others know, that when you begin to spout hate, encourage it, teach it, and justify it, they feel that conflict is imminent, and they react. That’s why HIZ has only Syria and Iran as allies.

Posted by: DemocracyRules at December 17, 2006 07:52 PM

Can I ask if you are being paid to write here and how much and by whom. And if I cannot, please feel free to delete this comment. Thanks.

Posted by: Curious at December 17, 2006 10:22 PM

You make some good points Abu Kais, one which I would like to elaborate a bit more on since most Lebanese, particularly from the March 8 bloc, seem to have forgotten:

When negotiations were taking place over the draft of what became UN SC Resolution 1701, Seniora was able to convince the international community that disarming Hezbollah was a Lebanese internal affair only and that what mattered at the present (then) was making sure the July War came to an end and that all Israeli troops withdrew from Lebanese territory. Seniora, however, did not HAVE to do that, and actually, I don't think any other Lebanse prime minister, if they were prime minister today, would have had enough credibility to convince the UN as Seniora did. Not even Rafiq al-Hariri, simply because he probably wouldn't have had the patience for Hassan Nasrallah.

So Resolution 1701 called for the disarming of all militias in Lebanon as a final objective, but the achievement of such an objective would be an internal Lebanese affair only. The fact that Israel even agreed to this is quite remarkable.

The point of this narrative is to show the extent to which us Lebanese love to forget such details when they are no longer in our particular interests. Here, I refer to the March 8 supporters and the various speakers who have made rally speeches in Downtown (in particular Nasrallah, Aoun, and Sahili). They call Seniora a Western-backed figure who is un-Lebanese, a traitor, and a friend of the Israeli state.

Every single one of these labels are quite problematic and for the sake of being brief: the whole notion that Seniora's government is western-backed has very little do with the tensions between March 8 and March 14, such a label was imposed by Western media discourse, and as we can tell, is being adopted by people like General Michel Aoun (though of course this requires us to forget that Aoun begged Congress to listen to him in 2002 during the sessions prior to the passing of the Syrian Accountability Act). Seniora's actions during the immediate aftermath of the July War certainly do not amount to any acts of treason and were far from being Israeli-friendly.

The fact that the tribunal will now be under the jurisdiction of Chapter 7 goes to show how much Hezbollah and its allies lost by having the 6 ministers resign back in November. Seniora gave them the chance to participate in talks over the tribunal and present their opinions on the matter but to no avail. Well good for March 14 and bad for March 8. Saad Hariri's presence the evening the tribunal was passed in the Lebaense cabinet at his father's grave was testimony to how much leverage March 14 has earned both within its constitutional rights and among its international supporters.

Posted by: Ana at December 19, 2006 05:31 AM

Abu Kais, this is not an attack on you personally - I respect you as a decent guy operating on worthy principles, not that that will get you much more than a cup of coffee - but you're way off in the clouds.

UNFIL maybe prevents Syria from invading Lebanon with tanks, but they won't touch Hizballah. The Chapter 7 resolution is a pressure game on Assad without cards in the pocket. Meaning, a bluff, and a dumb and risky one at that. The US is playing hardball international politics with your life, just like Syria. As you well know, the Chapter 7 system is an entrance to regime change - a regime change that will not happen. No one in America is ready for it. No one in America is politically prepared to lay down so much as a boot on the line. To be crude, we've shot our wad.

So what this whole game is doing, in effect, is putting a paper knife to Assad's throat. The Chapter 7 Resolution might bite him in twenty years, but he can f*ck Lebanon up right now.

But Moscow might not be able to veto this one,

Care to provide a logical statement to the effect of why and how that might be prevented? I doubt it, because you're wrong.

as the French and Americans will not allow the regime and Hizbullah to blow Lebanon into smithereens.

Wrong again. Disasterously so.

Your principles, even as better one's than the other guy's are not worth several hundred thousand Lebanese violent deaths. When you go for revolution over evolution, that's what you get.

And, really, from what you've written, you should be able to give Hizb a break - says someone who doesn't like them - they've gone to the wall to get into your government, arguably, because they fear disarmed and then turned into cold cuts by your southern neighbors. Now, you're fine with that, I'm fine with that, but who would expect them to be fine with that?

In Ireland, commitment to disarmnament in principle occurred years after it became abundantly clear that the disarming organization was not going to be hung by the neck until dead and dissolved. (And then more years until it began to happen!) Hizb, one how or another, was in a hot war six months ago with no formal commitment to it being over.

Until Israel and her haters figure something out, Hizb is not likely to disarm. Attempting to force it will likely end up with lots of dead people.

Posted by: glasnost at December 19, 2006 05:36 PM

What does a supposed international tribunal aimed at bringing a billionar's killer's to justice have to do with Chart VII of the UN charter if it is really supposed to be a tribunal?

Chapter VII of the UN charter deals with the use of robust armed force to impose peace on regions. Needless to say, this has nothing to do with Harriri's assasination. The American's stated goal is regime change in Syria, which they want to persue through a Chapter VII resolution under the guise of a "tribunal", and their March 14 puppets are gladly playing into this plan. If this goes through, it will be the greatest violation of Lebanon's soveriegnty and freedom as a country.

We, the Lebanese people want to know the truth about who killed Harriri. We are tired of Zionist propogandists such as Mehlis and foolish politicians who dont care about the truth and only care about having a Chapter VII resolution to counter Hezbollah and persue regime change in Syria. Is this why they killed Harriri, who was a long time Syrian puppet and stooge except for the last year of his life?

Anyone who respects Lebanon's integrity as a soveriegn nation will reject any such "tribunal" under Chapter VII. We want a tribunal, not a millitary occupation by Nato under the guise of UNIFIL.

Posted by: Lebanese at December 20, 2006 05:06 PM

Knave or fool, Lebanese? (The knave is the one who thinks up claptrap like you spout, the fool is the one who takes it seriously.) Which are you?

It would almost be amusing to let you take power, not to see who you kill, but to see the eight or nine people you might allow to live.

Posted by: nichevo at December 21, 2006 10:44 AM

Abu,

Thank you for your service here and enjoyed the post.

Lebanese, do you think people believe a word you say?

That junk may pass on propaganda stations to people that are oppressed and have no choice of media, but its pure rubbish in a free world.

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