How much longer will we fool ourselves that #Lebanon’s loyalties rest with the #Arab_World? During a recent #Arab_League emergency meeting of foreign ministers, called by the Kingdom of #Saudi_Arabia to discuss measures to be taken in answer to #Iran’s “terrorist acts” and its aggression against #Saudi_Arabia, it was clear that Beirut stands with the enemy.
Ignoring the urging of the League’s Secretary General #Nabil_Elaraby for all “to adopt a strong and clear position calling on #Iran to stop all forms of interference in the affairs of Arab nations,” #Lebanon abstained from voting on a resolution denouncing #Iran’s threatening actions, supported by all other member states.
#Lebanon’s failure to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with its Arab brothers proves its independence has been quashed under the Iranian boot. This sorry state of affairs is well-known but now that Beirut has taken sides there is no room for doubt; it has been rubber-stamped
The statement is to be followed up by the formation of a committee to include representatives from #Saudi_Arabia, the #United_Arab_Emirates, #Bahrain and #Egypt – countries that have either severed or downgraded relations with #Iran – tasked with monitoring the crisis and proposing further measures against Tehran, if necessary. Saudi will also hold talk with its Arab allies on future steps.
I was shocked and disappointed to learn of the Lebanese stance, apparently prompted by the statement’s admonition of #Iran’s Lebanese proxy #Hezbollah over its blatant interference in #Bahrain’s domestic affairs.
“The statement that was made with regard to #Bahrain does not reflect the position and the policy of the Lebanese government nor that of the political party [the Aounist Free Patriotic Movement] I represent,” #Lebanon’s Foreign Minister #Gibran_Bassil is quoted as saying. Why some Maronite Christians are hand-in-glove with #Iran’s puppet is beyond my understanding unless their motive is to feather their own nests.
“#Lebanon’s implicit position does not differ from that of the Arab states in their statement regarding non-interference in the affairs of #Bahrain. However, the statement that was made was against #Lebanon or a certain Lebanese party, which I certainly rejected…” said this individual, who had previously held ministerial posts in the cabinets of March 14th leaders #Fouad_Siniora and #Saad_Hariri.
Bassil poured salt in the treacherous wound adding, “It is worth noting that the statement was issued in contradiction with the principles of the #Arab_League and its charter, but we did not want to raise this point since we do not want to cause problems with any Arab state.” How considerate of him! The truth is that any suggestion of impropriety from him would have been shot down by all other #Arab_League members, and he knows that.
He went on to grumble that promised Arab aid has yet to manifest. In other words, he slaps #Lebanon’s traditional Arab benefactors while expecting those states to prop up a paralyzed government unable to cleanse the country from mountains of rotting garbage, a parliament that has failed to agree upon a new president in over 18 months and an ineffective army dominated by Shiite militias with billions of dollars.
The fact is that in 2014 the Kingdom gifted the Lebanese army $1bn and in April last year, marked the first delivery of French-made weapons and military equipment to the Lebanese Armed Forces under a $3bn Saudi grant to re-establish “a Lebanese army capable of responding to new security realities”.
In my view #Lebanon’s army is in greater need of patriotism than weapons. Just as the political arena has stopped functioning due to #Hezbollah’s blackmail, the infiltrated military machine has #Hezbollah’s cog in its wheel preventing it from doing its job. No amount of cash in the world can buy love of country from those with a mandate to defend it from hostile entities whether outside the country or within.
It is true that #Lebanon is financially burdened by a massive influx of Syrian refugees in addition to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. But it is also the case that if #Hezbollah and its Iranian Master had not thrown their backing behind the criminal #Assad regime, that regime might have collapsed years ago when there was a viable opposition waiting in the wings to form a caretaker government in #Syria as a prelude to elections.
#Hezbollah’s military involvement in #Syria had nothing to do with securing Lebanese interests but was carried on a command from #Iran’s ayatollahs. #Hezbollah is responsible for contributing to the mass displacement of the Syrian people fleeing regime bombs and for making #Lebanon a target of terrorist groups.
#Gibran_Bassil asserts that #Lebanon has a policy of non-interference in the affairs of other countries. If so, it is not worth the paper it is written on when the militia he defends did not think twice about tearing it up to serve its masters.
Head of the Future Movement #Saad_Hariri expressed his regret over his country’s abstention in a statement released by his press office, which read: “The abstention of #Lebanon’s Foreign Minister to vote on the #Arab_League’s resolution does not reflect the opinion of the majority of the Lebanese who are suffering from the #Iran interference in their internal affairs”. I believe him.
I have many Lebanese friends and almost all would celebrate the day #Hezbollah disappeared in puff of smoke. They variously refer to themselves as Arabs or Levantines; certainly not Persians. Most Lebanese I know are passionate about their country and its beautiful blessings from God but, sadly, the political and military establishment continue to thwart their ambitions of seeing #Lebanon bloom as it did in its glory days during the 1950’s, 60’s and early 70’s before civil war halted its progress.
Let the good Lebanese stand up with courage and fortitude to ask for help in chopping the Iranian hand that strangles their children’s future. And in the meantime, I would call upon Saudi not to throw any more money #Lebanon’s way, which could so easily end up fattening the militias pockets. Moreover, the #Arab_League should reconsider #Lebanon’s membership until it is ready to pledge which side of the fence it is truly on.