The Lebanese Co-Existence
Mohamed Ashab Al-Hayat - 03/12/06//
Mental power alone can rescue Lebanon from the risks of fragmentation among the sects and currents. It is more logical to consider what is happening as political disputes liable to bring all parties to the negotiation table. In fact, wars, with all their horror, end with negotiations. No matter how much the conflicting parties blame one another, the desire to repeat previous cases of governments toppled by mobilizing the population may turn into a trend that will take the crisis back to the very beginning, every time political disputes occur. However, it is difficult to imagine how Lebanon can absorb the regional crises striking the core of its stability.

In a crisis like the one that Lebanon is living, there is no need to sink the country into regional and international polarizations, resulting from its position on the map of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This, in turn, imposes on the Lebanese people, the protagonists of this cause, more dangers, and they will suffer the consequences. Strengthening the State and reinforcing its influence is the natural way to achieve a kind of co-existence that can firmly face foreign dictations that have come as a result of the country's weakness.

So far, the Lebanese people have acted in a civilized manner in proposing the demands that are relevant for both the social classes and the sects, although they do not seem to be final goals. There are some data regarding the country's makeup that cannot be cancelled simply by hinting at the common apprehension. Additionally, some feelings are trying to transcend the national reconciliation framework, which is viewed as a red line. Nevertheless, methods can reveal intentions, even when the insurmountable limit is set. Does the formation of a national unity government require all the efforts being made, regardless of whether they are appropriate or not, to recognize that Lebanon needs a government that will bring its people together and not separate them? Has the national dialogue, which has been called for several times, failed to bring the parties to accept reconciliation and harmony, which are considered the cornerstone for the construction of Lebanon, as long as there is no arrangement to make it fail?

Imaginations about Lebanon's future, no matter how different and discrepant they are, can always be discussed. The only thing that remains totally prohibited is to strike the components of the Lebanese unity that are linked with the legitimacy of the Taf Agreement. What also must be protected is the will to get rid of any tendency to harm the independence of the Lebanese decision-making process. There are some paradoxes, however: during the Israeli war, the Lebanese people resisted by disrupting Israel's operations aimed at one group and by dealing with this war as if the target were the whole of Lebanon as a State, legitimacy, institution and harmony. Now, however, they seem less cautious in assimilating the repercussions of this conflict. It may be understood that victory, based on the principle of resistance, must be managed in the fields of peace and reconstruction. What is not understood is that not everyone is taking part in administering the post-war stage. For its part, war will continue to exercise its influence as an indicator in the Lebanese arena until an agreement is reached over the beginning of what has so far been postponed; that is, to repair what has been destroyed by the war. It is for sure that this is not a building that can be reconstructed only by men; these are not prisoners that can be redeemed through negotiations; these are not weapons that can be re-obtained only through funds and grants. On the contrary, it is a state of waiting for a truth that is threatening the essence of Lebanese co-existence, and that can evolve into the most destructive scenarios at the expense of State unity and the population, because of a continuous kind of stubbornness that serves non-Lebanese interests.

Resorting to the assassination of Lebanese personalities was the prelude for a strike at the symbolism of co-existence and for sedition. Despite their major injury, the Lebanese people have been able to preserve its symbolic values in order to keep the political system from collapsing, bearing in mind that the assassinations fundamentally targeted this system in order to spread chaos, and to make Lebanon surrender to feelings of revenge. There was no other alternative but to resort to the International Tribunal amid complications and circumstances related to this kind of vicious political crimes.

Although no party can openly declare it does not want truth to emerge, even if it were like the empty half of the glass, logic imposes a sequence of priorities. The war has not cancelled the persistence to seek the truth, and that is also the case for the conflict currently taking place. This will continue as long as the agreement is based on principles.

There are ways and means to adopt a national unity government, and this achievement seems to be closer by respecting democratic methodology. Disagreement is accepted and requested to enrich this methodology and not to go beyond it. Therefore, policy-makers in Lebanon will not damage the process of reaching a new agreement on priorities and principles, provided that mobilizing streets is not wished for other reasons that, as can be imagined, would get out of control. This would be similar to what happens with snake charmers, when the magic turns against the magician. However, the Lebanese people are more persistent in controlling their destiny. This is a civilized population, and not a robotic game that can be controlled from a distance