Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

On Sovereignty and Sovereigntism – The Past (1)

Posted by worriedlebanese on 11/04/2007

In the 1990s, I argued against the use of the word “sovereigntist” to describe the political leaders and forces that asked for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon and spoke of a Syrian occupation of the country. I found the word derogatory and preferred to qualify those who were actively collaborating and linking their interests to (mostly personal) Syrian interests, or those who were finding ways to accommodate with the Syrian domination (calling extremists those who called for the withdrawal of Syrian troops or spoke of occupation) without loosing the backing of their constituency that was openly hostile to the Syrian regime. I’d call them the pro-Syrians, the anti-independentists, the followers, the lukewarm pro-Syrians, the compulsive accommodationists… Until 2005, every single Member of Parliament except for Albert Mokheiber could easily fit in at least one of these categories. You’d see them argue that the Syrian government was not a foreign government but that of a sister country (whatever that meant). They’d defend the linkage between Lebanese and Syrian interests, “direction” and “destiny”. They’d claim that there is more than a convergence; there was a unity in principle and in essence between Lebanese interests and Syrian ones.

Why qualify the opposition to Syrian domination by any other name? Why make them sound as ideologically biased when all they called for was the reestablishment of Lebanese sovereignty, the withdrawal of Syrian troops and intelligence from Lebanon, the definition of Lebanese interests and the non-intervention of the Syrian government or any other foreign government in Lebanese interests.

What about the present situation?Is Lebanon today a Sovereign State? Who is using the argument of reestablishment of Lebanese sovereignty, what are the arguments they use?

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