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Using Stances as a Weapon…to Retrieve the State!

Using Stances as a Weapon…to Retrieve the State!

Thursday, 4 March, 2021 - 12:30

By the fourth of March, seven months would have passed since the crime of the Beirut port blast which destroyed a third of the Lebanese capital. To date, the forensic investigation has revealed nothing to the public. The political class, clinging to its “immunity” has successfully interfered, reversing the investigation’s course and putting the responsibility on negligence or administrative errors. Politicians with “serious suspicions” about them after initial questioning were declared innocent! While Hezbollah, which controls the docks and hangars at the port, has decided that the technical investigation conducted by the military authorities has been finalized, and the judge has nothing to do now but announce the results and close the matter!

The Court of Cessation responded to what was called “legitimate suspicions,” so the case was withdrawn from the hands of the judicial investigation judge, Sawan, who was replaced by Bitar, who has begun looking into the matter. This review period will range from two to four weeks, and everything will be suspended in the meantime.

It seems that Judge Sawan’s efforts had succeeded in tying the threads of the crime. He called for questioning politicians and security personnel at the highest level. The picture became clearer when three Syrian citizens were called for questioning about evidence that demonstrated that they owned the deadly nitrate shipment. If we add to this the conclusions regarding the shipment of large quantities of Ammonium Nitrate to the Syrian regime so they could be used in the barrel bombs that demolished the cities of Syria over the heads of their inhabitants, it becomes evident who had been the beneficiary of the multifaceted chaos in which Lebanon is now languishing, as are the links between the parties involved in this dangerous case.

It also became evident that the cataclysmic explosion that went off on the fourth of August is the culmination moment of a major crime that had started with the arrival of the shipment of death. Hence, everyone who had held a political or security position between 2013 and 2020 is a suspect. At the very least, they “didn’t fulfill their duties.”

The investigation could have been completed and perhaps revealed everything that been kept secret, including the circumstances of the assassination that followed the explosion, especially if external assistance for the investigation had been granted, for example, from the open French investigation- as there were two French citizens among the deceased and several UNIFIL staff were injured.

However, considering the situation in Lebanon, it was not easy to expect that the conclusions of the investigation would be revealed. This is what the former head of the Bar Association, Rachid Derbas, pointed to, saying that it was difficult to reach the truth due to the absence of political consent because of the pressure from “de facto forces,” i.e. “Hezbollah!” Despite popular pressure to reveal the truth and apply justice, the investigation ceiling might remain low!

To avoid what would resemble a “stick in the wheels”, the politically and legally heretical decision was to remove Judge Sawan. This reaffirmed the ruling clique’s insistence on keeping the judiciary sidelined and constrained, indeed hijacked, and leaving the country without borders or dignity, with a statelet having the actual control over decision-making, and therefore finding the truth and achieving justice are forbidden.

On the 27th of February, Lebanon's day which was hosted by Bkerke, Patriarch Rai put his finger on the wound, using the “weapon of his political position” when he declared that: “We were facing a coup,” and demanded a return to neutrality and an international conference to uphold National Reconciliation Accord and international resolutions so that the threats to the borders and entity are averted. He also warned against the danger of “two states being present in the same state, two armies being in the same state, and nations being in the same nation,” stressing that resistance should empower the state, which safeguards everyone’s rights, not the other way around.

At its core, Patriarch Rai’s decision to ignore President Aoun is a decision to withdraw his support for the president. All of his proposals also rebuked the plan to exploit the country’s collapse to further the project for succession, which would come at a very high cost indeed! For it has accelerated the pace of the collapses and violation, and the indications of changing customs and traditions have begun to appear, changes to the social fabric that has brought the people of this country together for centuries and has always driven waves of immigration, primarily, as we see today, of the youths. The speech did not avoid taking a stance against the idea that the Lebanese ought to surrender to the will of the corrupt clique either, nor did it refrain from discussing the dimensions of the policy of “dispute resolution” that Hariri is pursuing with Hezbollah and to where it leads when overlooking subjugation to foreign powers and considering it our inevitable fate so long as it ensures the subjugate’s share of power and spoils!

All the bitter experiences that the Lebanese people have undergone since the 2016 presidential settlement affirm that there can be no saving of Lebanon, its entity and state, or a restoration of its citizens’ rights without taking back the hijacked state. The cornerstone of the path of extricating the country from its crises should be to restore the prestige and stature of the state. This objective is tied to making the state a normal state again, one that is granted a monopoly on violence in exchange for safety and stability for its citizens and the guarantee of equality among them. The sensitivity of this delicate and fragile point was not lost on the patriarch, who demanded that it be resolved according to a sound defense strategy that prioritizes the development of the county’s national military capabilities, such that the army protects borders and security and stability are restored.

Logically, when confronting bankruptcy and collapse on many fronts- which had been caused by plunder and impoverishment- and to a degree of rights and justice, even fair distribution of the life-saving vaccine.. authorities cannot protect their citizens and safeguard their rights and freedoms while there is a militia that can use violence to confront any step it sees as undercutting its interests. This is the case of Lebanon and Hezbollah, which established its independent institutions and parallel economy at the expense of a considerable sum of the state’s revenues, after repeatedly proclaiming that it gets everything it needs from Iran’s crystal-clean money. However, Hezbollah is not on an isolated island. The devastation, which it played a major role in bringing about, has affected the “community that supports it.”

Refusing to keep the entity in danger, and refusing to undermine borders and sovereignty so that this is possible, is a process that demands many internal understandings as well as ones. However, despite the importance of the proposal, which is an objective the majority agrees with, the reality on the ground indicates that achieving it is currently impossible, the broad reactions were positive. Many saw in the proposals an opportunity that use the weapon of stances to gradually transform it into a comprehensive peace initiative to save Lebanon. This approach enraged Hezbollah and its companions because their priority was disrupting the country and hijacking it at the service of Tehran’s plans for Lebanon and the region. The mouthpieces for the rhetoric of treachery accusations went off, going as far as threatening of a civil war, which exposed a deeply held anxiety of theirs that something new is brewing within the milieu supportive of the Iranian regime, and it’s been manifesting on the ground since the October 17 Revolution! It will be difficult to find ways to keep the disgruntlement under wraps in the future!

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