Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Arguing on too many fronts

Posted by worriedlebanese on 18/12/2006

If I ever came to think back on this dinner, the first question I will ask myself would be on how I managed to survive the argument that followed it.

There I was in a room with friends and family discussing politics and very quickly arguments started shooting at me from all sides. This is a situation I am quite accustomed to, but this time every person was raising and  arguing a different point, reacting to political views I had raised and shared with them days, weeks, or even months earlier. It was payback time.

– How can you defend Hezbollah?
– How can you be a federalist?
– How can you support confessionalism?

I tried my best to argue on all fronts, but it was impossible. Just after making an important point on one argument and shaking the certainties people had surrounding it, I was attacked on another issue and my point was forgotten.
Thinking back on tonight, I should have refused to discuss federalism and confessionalism. I should have stuck to discussing my support to the opposition in the current political crisis. But I just couldn’t resist throwing back the ball at people wherever that ball came from.


2 Responses to “Arguing on too many fronts”

  1. naya said

    “how can you defend hizbollah?” Did i miss an episod!
    i ‘m curious to know what made you change your opinion ? i remember how anti hizbollah you were during the war ( more anti-hizbollah than the israeli press and articles in HaaretZ sometimes !)and how many times you said “i wish the israeli killed Nasrallah so we get rid of him…”. I also remember what you told me two days before the war became official, that if i wanted to participate with the group to a manifestation and activities i couldn’t at the same time be a defender of hizbollah and i had to make a decision!! i was like the black sheep among the group and everybody was ( and still is) anti hezbollah to death :-)). you were right on the principle because the issue was peace initiatives, but the way everybody was reacting, it was like: its ok to be part of the project and continue to support some political group as long as it is not hizbollah :-), which would be a sign of insanity or stupidity.
    So how come u were accused during that dinner to defend hizbollah ?!
    Beside, i ask too ” how can you be a federalist”? do you think POLITICAL decentralisation is seriously viable in a country like lebanon?

  2. You needn’t worry, Naya. I’m going to keep on teasing you about your pro-Hezbollah stands.
    I won’t be answering all your points here because I will be arguing on too many fronts. And if there is something that I’ve learnt lately, it’s to stick to one point if I want to make a radically different reading of an issue.
    About my supposed “pro-hezb” stands, well, the accusation doesn’t totally hold. I’m still very critical of the Hezb, in the same was I’m critical of all parties. But I believe that one can join him on one of his stands and that doesn’t mean that one agrees with his ideas and beliefs.
    The evolution you mention in your mail is true. I did wish during the past war that the IDF would wipe off the Hezb and its leadership. I did think that anything less than that would strengthen it and encourage other radical groups to resort to violence.
    I still think this is true. Israel’s failure in achieving these aims did strengthen Hezbollah and other radical groups. It gave them hopes. They saw Israel’s vulnerability (or to be more precise, its lack of invulnerability). And through violence, they felt that they had saved their honour.
    But when the war was over, and after I had discussed these matters with European politicians and diplomats in Brussels, my thoughts evolved. I realised how arrogant I had been, I realised that the positions I held over the summer were unethical and fragile.
    As for my stand against Hezbollah and the way it has evolved, I think it better to write a post on it, as you had ealier suggested.
    thanks for your comment

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