Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Policy statement. Who gives a damn?

Posted by worriedlebanese on 25/11/2009

Resistance picture, part of the "only in Lebanon" series.

Future Movement’s Shiite effigy, MP Oqab Saqr considers that the sentence regarding the “spread of state authority throughout Lebanese territory” and placing “war and peace decisions solely into the hands of the Lebanese state” does not harm the resistance (Voix du Liban). So he sees no reason why it shouldn’t be included in the Policy Statement of Saad Hariri’s government.

I personally see no reason why any sentence should or shouldn’t be included in the Policy Statement. It is after all a totally futile rhetorical exercice with no legal or political effects whatsoever. The only use it could possibly serve is feed sterile polemics whenever any disagreement appears between any two parties/blocs represented in the government (with no less than 10 political parties on board, I’m sure there will be numerous occasions for that). Has anyone bothered to take a look at the previous declaration and see which part of it was actually implemented? Such an exercice would certainly be extremely difficult to follow through because it is rather difficult to see what these abstract statements imply in practice.

What does the sentence “spread of state authority throughout Lebanese territory” imply practically? Does that mean that police officers would be able to do their job in Palestinian camps? Certainly not. Politicians and officials have already “given guarantees” to Mahmoud Abbas’ representative that they won’t. Does that mean that the Minister of Interior will actually be able to monitor the work of the security forces anywhere outside his office? And I’m not only hinting at Hezbollah’s “security pockets”, but also some directories and local forces in Northern Lebanon and Beirut (that obey to Hariri), Southern Lebanon (that obey to Nabih Berri) or Southern Mount Lebanon (that obey to Walid Jumblatt). Wouldn’t it be more effective to say that the Minister of the Interior is mandated to assert the authority of his ministry throughout the territory and make sure that no group can hold arms unless authorised by Parliament?

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