Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Looking into the central alliance behind the Opposition®

Posted by worriedlebanese on 16/09/2009

aoun nasrallah 3How 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.

7 Responses to “Looking into the central alliance behind the Opposition®”

  1. lirun said

    does anyone really believe that hizbulla’s military cause is the liberation of the sheba farms?

    • what do u believe is their cause (military or non military)?

      • lirun said

        i believe its a generic power struggle.. that israel is an excuse to assert influence within a divided society..

      • Interesting point. I do agree with you, Israel has been used by Hezbollah quite efficiently in mobilising its (mostly Shiite) constituency. And there are certainly internal dynamics in play. But I think there are two limits to this approach.

        – Hezbollah hasn’t been asserting much influence within the Lebanese divided society except for the defense of its weapons. It hasn’t up to now bargained for more seats in Parliament or in the government. It hasn’t pushed for certain policy changes in matters that mean the most to it, ideologically: education, social welfare, religious system and religious laws… So basically, it only asserts influence in a divided society to maintain its struggle with Israel. So the “generic power struggle” is used as a means for the maintenance of the regional struggle.

        – Hezbollah is envolved in a regional power struggle. Its constituency doesn’t care much for this regional struggle. What it cares about is security and dignity. Its constituency wants a guarantee that Israel will not invade or occupy their land. And it’s happy that someone in Lebanon is ready to stand up to the IDF and not bow down to its destructive force. This point is usually missed by most Israelis because of the difference in perspective between the two sides (what Israelis see as defensive, many here see as offensive; what Israelis perceive to be unilateral, many here see as negotiated through violence… and the list goes on).

      • lirun said

        do you think that most lebanese believe that israelis want to invade lebanon? what is the general perception of the israeli street in relation to the state of affairs in lebanon..

  2. SL said

    I think Hassounna Answered all the questions raised: GET OFF THE RESISTANCE’s BACK.
    All the Delusional Aounists I’m sure will readily misinterpret the intentions of Hassounna and Hezbollah until one day they realize all their womenfolk must wear the Chaddor in public. It may not be that dramatic, but I’m sure you understand where I’m going with this….I’d like to kindly say to Aounists idiots, WAKE THE FUCK UP!

    • It is quite obvious that you’re not interested in either analysis or discussion. You’re too consumed with hate and mistrust for that. Do calm down and then we’ll have something to discuss.

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