Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Good reason for confusion 1: The army and I

Posted by worriedlebanese on 28/09/2007

lib018068.jpgDuring the past 3 months, an undeclared war shook Nothern Lebanon: killing, damaging and endangering lifes in their thousands, displacing people in their tens of thousands, reopening old wounds and creating new ones. Why call the Nahr el Bared battle an undeclared? Didn’t the Lebanese military publish daily reports on it, weren’t they constant and neatly packaged for the evening news and the international media?!
Well, I believe the war was undeclared for a very simple reason: it was never taken seriously by the Lebanese political class. Ministers kept on with their lives and quarrels as if nothing was happening; exchanging accusations and leaving the whole “affair” to the military. It was as if the battle was raging abroad, in a far off land that was taken over by newcomers and gradually recovered by the army. Something like the Falklands!

Accordingly, the Lebanese army was given complete control over the handling of the crisis: fixing the goals, the means… and managing the media campaign!
One has to recognise that the military succeeded in managing the media campain, which was not a terribly demanding task, knowing the state the Lebanese media is in: no conficting reports, no dissenting voices, clear cut information: “we’re the good people, they’re the bad people”. “We will prevail”. “We are winning every day”. “The army is pure”. “The army is defending the nation”.
You couldn’t voice a comment or a faint criticism without being accused of treason by anyone in hearing distance.

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