The New Holders of the Power Keys in Lebanon
By Mazen H. ABBOUD
It seems that the resignation of former Prime Minister Saad ELHARIRI’s government as well as the nomination of the designate prime minister Najeeb MIKATI yesterday heralded, the beginning of a new era in the country political life; an era which is to be tainted with Shiites’ control over the government of Lebanon.
Apparently, former Prime Minister Saad ALHARIRI apparently lost the battle due to his strong commitment to the international tribunal; however, I believe that there are also other reasons …
Lately it became clearer to observers that the young leader needs to develop his political & managerial skills further to be able to confront the national, regional & international storms.
I believe that Mr. HARIRI chose to be at the premiership of a country that was in turmoil without grasping the rules of the game & without having the proper tools to govern it; & governing the Lebanon is not an easy matter in times of crisis and turmoil. It is believed that Prime Minister Hariri made structural political blunders during his term; such as his statement to “SHARQ ALAWSAT” Newspaper about the existence of false witnesses in the assassination case of his father- the slate former Prime Minister HARIRI, who did harm to the Syrian-Lebanese relations; then he took no action in this regard.
Moreover, as per Syria allies, he gave promises to the Syrian President, during his informal visits to Damascus, which he could not keep. Furthermore, the Hakika Leaks report that was broadcasted on NTV, which included his testimony before the International Tribunal was long, irrelevant, inconsistent & destructive to his relations with some ingredients of the Saudi Royal family. In addition, it was clear from the NTV report that he was, to a certain extent, affiliated with the “False Witnesses” Affair.
On the other hand, Hezbollah, which is not only a mighty guerilla but also a pragmatic political party, was fully prepared for the game. It knew how to use the psychology of fears, how to invest in its rival’s weak points, & how to invest in the regional climate to get its goal accomplished.
So, at the National Level, Hezbollah succeeded in attracting the Christian Maronite Leader G. Michel Awn to its camp, in the post 2005 parliamentarian elections following his quarrels with the 14th of March camp.
Furthermore, Hezbollah succeeded in bouncing the Druze leader- Waleed JUMBLAT to its camp, following the uprising of the 7th of May, 2008; ALHARIRI’s resignation & MIKATI’s nomination are not but a direct effect of all that.
However, the latest events did not give Hezbollah but an incomplete short time shield from the International Tribune Indictment; it got shielded only partly, because Designate Prime Minister Najeeb MIKATI will not be a puppet; it is believed that he came to power with Syrian, French, Turkish & Qatari backings & with no Saudi objection.
I believe Prime Minister MIKATI has got an agenda of his own that does not complies necessarily with Hezbollah's term of reference; so it would be advisable for the 14th of March coalition & the West to give him a chance & to review their performance meanwhile.
Furthermore, for the long term, Hezbollah got other strategic plans for protection; it counts on US failures in Iraq & Afghanistan, on the weaknesses, & on the bad performances of western democracies & notably the Americans in the region. Hezbollah believes that the time factor would be on its side.
It is worth mentioning that the fall of the Middle East Peace Process & the rise of extremism in Israel & the Arab World would do well to it & strengthen its position in the Arab world, as an opposition movement.
Finally, it is obvious that the Shiite had gained the struggle over the Lebanon temporarily. So, it is now their era in the Cedars Land, which was reigned initially by the Maronite & Sunnite respectively. However, the others should not surrender & leave the stage but behave wisely to preserve the Lebanese Identity. Thus, Designate Prime Minister Mikati who is experimented & qualified, should be given a chance to prove himself; he should be granted a conditional & a temporal full support to lead Lebanon in this time of crisis; maybe he would do better than others…