Looking into the central alliance behind the Opposition®
Posted by worriedlebanese on 16/09/2009
How consistent are political alliances in Lebanon and what effects do they have ? These are two important questions that Ghassan Saoud deals with indirectly in his article published by al-Akhbar: “العونيون لحزب الله: “العتب على قد المحبة (Aounists to Hezbollah: “reproaches equal to affection”). I discovered this article yesterday thanks to Remarkz’s post on the subject.
First a quick summary then a quick interpretation followed by extrapolations.
The Summary: as the title clearly shows, the article is another example of Lebanese pamphlet-journalism (with substance). Its author is “sending a message” to Hezbollah and the FPM. He hopes that the Shiite party will hear and remedy the points or questions that he formulates. He also wishes the FPM emulates Hezbollah in several ways (balancing between charisma and institution, party organisation, communication policy and strategy…). Here are the questions Ghassan Saoud (quite rightly) believes are bugging the FPM’s christian constituency:
- Is Hezbollah willing to decommission its weapons once Shebaa is liberated and a defensive strategy is adopted & followed?
- What are Hezbollah’s priority or focus (the Shiites? Christian-Muslim partnership in Lebanon? Iran?)?
- Why doesn’t Hezbollah publicly address or communicate on issues that matter to the FPM?
- Why doesn’t Hezbollah support the FPM’s claims the way it supports its own (militarily?)?
- How does Hezbollah’s religious dimension fit in the alliance?
Quick Interpretation: The journalist is obviously frustrated by the fact that the alliance between Hezbollah and the FPM hasn’t evolved, deepened. It has remained during these three years limited to the highest ranks of both parties and only appears publicly when the need for a common stance is felt.
Little effort is put in bridging the constituencies, deliberating together, working as partners on topics that matter to both (or even to one party). On the other hand, a lot of energy and time is spent on justifying the alliance or the ally’s actions (more at the hand of the FPM than Hezbollah).
Interestingly, many interviewed FPMers bring up the question of “justification”. They blame Hezbollah for not justifying (“explaining”) its actions sufficiently. They also mention the fact that they sometimes have problem justifying these actions to their colleagues. The insistance on justification goes hand in hand with the request for common public stances. This focus translates perfectly the way politics have come to be regarded by Lebanese (especially Christian Lebanese) as a logocracy where all that matters are words and stances.
Extrapolation: What Ghassan Saoud criticises in the Opposition® reminds me of what Michel Hajji-Georgiou reproaches March XIV® with in an even friendlier and more indirect way: Lack of consistency and content.