The reasons of the strongest
By: Carlos Eddé, head of the Lebanese National Bloc

December 1, 2009

Prior to the Doha Agreement, Lebanon was in a state of relative insecurity, and I insist on the word “relative”, since everyone did not live by the same circumstances. Those who upheld Lebanon’s sovereignty and independence were exposed to assassination attempts and were bound to drastic security measures. In contrast, March 8 politicians were not threatened; they ran no risks leaving their houses or getting into their cars and had no worries whatsoever.
There was a time when, out of concern for my personal safety, the government dispatched eight policemen and a warrant officer to protect me. I was receiving advice regarding my comings and goings, and I was even told it would be preferable that I leave my family home in Sanayeh because it was said to be “unsafe.”

And then came the Doha miracle! In a matter of days, I was told that the “danger had died down” and that I no longer needed personal security. The courageous policemen who had faithfully remained by my side during the May 7 crisis were transferred to other postings. When I asked some of my allies about the security situation, they said that there should be no more killings since the “deal” that was made in Doha included guarantees in this respect. And they were right indeed; ever since this famed agreement, there was not one assassination of a March 14 politician, and we returned to an almost normal lifestyle.

But what about justice for those who were assassinated between 2004 and 2008, or those who sustained deep injuries that will scar them for life? Let us also not forget the lives of those who were responsible for the personal safety of the intended targets, or the passersby who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Is it all a case of “all is fair in love and war”, and does the end justify the means after all?

Who was behind these assassinations and who gave the formerly targeted politicians safety guarantees? Due to the lack of evidence, we are compelled to proceed based on a logical reasoning. Let us use a process of elimination.

Figures close to Hezbollah accused Israel of having carried out the assassinations. These arguments were automatically adopted by the Aounists. The Israeli secret services are undoubtedly quite skilled in such procedures and have a very long history when it comes to eliminating their enemies. However, those who credit the Israelis with involvement in the assassinations also accuse those same victims and survivors of being traitors working for the Jewish State. Obviously, they are either contradicting themselves, or they are putting forward the thesis that Israel is now assassinating its “allies” in Lebanon rather than its foes. Furthermore, the Israelis were not represented in Doha and were not among the beneficiaries of that agreement. Why then did they stop? Accordingly, this hypothesis can be discarded, and those who uphold it are either insincere or complete idiots – or when they defend this point of view, they are under the influence of the illicit substances that are grown illegally in some Lebanese regions.

The second theory, the origins of which are to be found in the same opposition circles, is that these terrorist attacks were carried out by Al-Qaeda. This hypothesis is more interesting than the previous one. But if it were true, and considering that only one camp was targeted, this would necessarily imply that there was an alliance, or at least a convergence of interests, between the March 8 forces and Al-Qaeda. If not, why would this organization spare March 8 politicians? What guarantees did those politicians obtain to reassure them that they were not on Al-Qaeda’s list of targets? Considering General Aoun’s virulence against Sunni fundamentalists and his theory about the latter’s alliance with some members of the March 14 coalition, saying that Osama bin Laden would eliminate us and give March 8 politicians guarantees seems a bit of a stretch. Moreover, I do not remember seeing Al-Qaeda in Doha, nor do I know of any incentives it may have obtained in order to stop its terror campaign. Accordingly, I am absolutely not convinced of this theory, and those who put it forth are, once again, probably insincere.

For lack of another, more credible hypothesis, I am tempted to go for the following reasoning: Let us remember the threats targeting the Lebanese politicians who stand behind their country’s sovereignty, the withdrawal of Syrian troops and the banning of the Syrian regime’s interference in Lebanon’s internal affairs. Let us also remember the aggressiveness with which some Lebanese politicians affiliated with the opposition used to call for violence and worded their demands in the shape of threats. Actually, those who were uttering the threats had their demands met and, at the same time, guarantees of safety were given to those who were targeted by assassinations. I have been told all this by some of those who were in Doha. This explains how everything changed following the return of Lebanese delegations from Qatar, why I was told that we were out of harm’s way and that I would no longer need close police protection. This would also explain Walid Jumblatt’s “spontaneous and rapid political revisionism.”
Still, who really cares about justice anymore? Should we not be content with this relative security under which we are now living on a day-to-day basis? As the Lebanese saying goes, “kiss the hand that you cannot overcome, and pray to God that it breaks into pieces.” After all, the Lebanese people have a pretty selective memory …

“And there, without a jury,
[The wolf] judged, slew, and ate her in his fury.”The Wolf and the Lamb
Jean de La Fontaine

**Carlos Eddé is the head of the Lebanese National Bloc