By Sami Karam
developments in the past week indicate that
Arab league, by considering sending a joint Arab-International force to
guarantee the security of the presidential elections, is acting in the same
manner it did in 1976. The temptation for the Lebanese leaders of March 14 to
accept this force is just as enticing as it was for the leaders of the Lebanese
Front in 1976. Both had their backs to the wall and
both had missiles pointed at their heads. While hindsight helps us judge how
their decision affected
The latest of these developments that shed light on a dark situation include:
· The communiqué from Arab League chief Amr Moussa to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, stating the need for an “Arab-International umbrella”,
· The rejection by Nabih Berri to any international protection of the Presidential election,
The recent attack by Israeli jets on Syrian nuclear
material provided by
Hezbollah MP Hussein Hajj Hassan recent attempt to calm the situation by claiming
that it may stay neutral if
The letter written by MP Walid Jumblat (requesting international protection for the majority) to the international leaders concerned by the developments in Lebanon was addressed to the whole international community, which include some concerned Arab states and the Arab League. The international community made the mistake in 1976 to sanction a force primarily of Syrian-Arab nature and in practical Syrian command. If protection is requested, the international community must not repeat the same mistake and rather send a force that is of true international character, under international command.
ability of the March 14 leadership to show courage and request international
help would demonstrate that they are not simply replacing Shiite-Syrian
dominance with Sunni-Arab dominance. They would go a long way in preventing
another Sunni-Shiite front in
March 14 are now faced with the job of acting like a parliamentary majority and flexing their democratic right on October 23rd for the sake of the Lebanese people. The Lebanese hope the leaders find the courage needed to reach this point, and move forward, rejecting consensus and half measures.
saw how the election of Elias Sarkis as a consensus
candidate only prolonged and managed a disastrous war. He came to power on the
heels of the Arab Deterrent Force and found that he and
Yet the March 14 alliance today has an option that the Lebanese Front did not have. Today we see the Europeans and the Americans rallying around the Lebanese cause, whereas in 1976 we saw their negligence through the Kissinger Plan, and the Arab Deterrent force was presented as the only option. We urge the current decision makers within March 14; do not make the Arab mistake twice!
it is clear to see that the March 14 alliance is a Sunni-Christian-Druze
the Arab League we ask, why the insistence on the Arab-International? As if somehow the Arab world is excluded from the International
community. Please excuse the Lebanese if there is still a bitter taste in their
mouths from the last Arab expedition to “help”
As for the weapons of the “resistance”. When the Israeli Army and their Lebanese allies liberated the Shiites in the south from the Palestinian choke, silent relief was in the air. In 2000, after the IDF withdrew, Israeli checkpoints were replaced with Hezbollah flags without one bullet being fired. So enough with the smoke and mirrors deception! A President with the March 14 spirit is coming that will need to deal with the weapons, not of the resistance, but that of the last remaining militia. The choice for Hezbollah is clear. Does this President come with true Lebanese political strength to find a political solution? Or does he come with an international force to implement UNSC 1559?
And God help us all if he comes on the heels of the Arab chameleon!