“A ‘defence policy’, for what?”
Posted by worriedlebanese on 18/10/2006
He argues that Lebanon should not have a ‘defence strategy’ but a ‘defence policy’. The term ‘defence strategy’ is used by Hezbollah to justify its weapons and its right to keep them even after the complete withdrawal of Israel from Lebanese land and the liberation of all Lebanese detainees. Hezbollah and the Lebanese government consider the Shebaa farms to be Lebanese not Syrian and there were three Lebanese prisoners held in Israel (one of whom is serving a term because of the brutal murder of an Israeli family some thirty years ago). The count might be up again because of the last war; the Israeli army kidnapped in July some Lebanese people but I think most of them have been liberated.
Hezbollah insists that it’s not enough to fight for the liberation of the land and its people. The true mission of a resistance is to ensure that the land is never occupied again. In their view, Israel in its very existence is a threat to Lebanon and the integrity of its land because of its expansionist policies (illustrated by its annexation of the Golan Heights and the colonisation of the West Bank).
In this perspective, they have the right to cling to their weaponry indefinitely. In their defence strategy, they believe that through their arms and training they are creating an equilibrium of terror between Lebanon and Israel, and Israel wouldn’t venture into Lebanon for fear of Hezbollah’s missiles reaching deep down into the Jewish State (During the war, Nasrallah had vowed that his missiles would reach farther south from Haifa…).
Many politicians and political analysts have been criticizing Hezbollah’s defence doctrine. They claim that it did not prevent Israel from occupying Lebanese land again, kidnapping Lebanese citizens from places as far from the Israeli border as the region of Baalbek and destroying a large part of the Lebanese infrastructure. In his article Fady Noun doesn’t follow this argument, he goes further, arguing that a ‘defence strategy’ is not enough and Lebanon should have a ‘defence policy’. He distinguishes between the two, saying that a defence policy is much larger it includes a military dimension and a cultural and economical dimension. He says that the Lebanese army should have anti-aircraft missiles that would really constitute a defence against Israeli incursion (but does it really? What about the Israeli fleet?). Furthermore Lebanon he claims should arm itself economically and culturally against Israel and its other enemies that are intolerance, extremism… and from hereon, Fady Noun shifts his argumentation to other points not directly related to Israel but going on the lines of consensualism and moral conservatism.
What I find most troublesome in this article is the way Fady Noun defines Israel as the enemy, as Lebanon’s first enemy without stating the reasons for this. What makes Israel Lebanon’s enemy? Is it congenital? Can anything be done about it? When and how can it end if ever it should? Why does he say that the Arabs do not have a unified strategy to counter Israel? Why this negative approach? Should the Arabs be anti-Israeli or pro-Palestinian? Does helping and support the Palestinians necessarily mean combat and defeat Israel? Is there no other way to achieve this aim? I think there is, and it’s through Peace not War, and that Peace talks are an emergency?