By Ghassan Karam Special to Ya Libnan
Please poke me, wake me up and tell me that this is all a dream. A nightmare is more like it. Are we really living in the 21st century or is this a cruel joke, a charade. We are really living in the 14th century and adhering to all its values.
How else can one explain that a prominent political leader is proud of the fact that the state, the legitimate state should not even discuss with vigilante groups the methods for disarming them of their illegal weapons because the state, according to him, is not yet ready for that. He goes on to say that there will come a time when we will ask them, the illegally armed militia, to merge with the armed forces. Now please tell me is there a more blatant way of submitting to blackmail? To paraphrase the statements of Mr. Jumblatt, what he is essentially saying is that let us not worry whether the Hezbollah militia is legal or not, it makes no difference that it is against the law and that it is financed and trained my non Lebanese. What matters is that the group is too strong and so we have to submit to its will. Yes I almost forgot that this is Lebanon, a Hobbesian society where the rule of law does not mean a thing. This is a land of tribes and the tribe that manages to smuggle the most weapons gets to dictate its rules.
As if the above statements that belong to a feudalistic society of the 14th century are not enough Mr. Jumblatt goes on to regale us with his plans for the Municipal elections. He spells out for us who he is going to anoint and who he will prevent from standing for office. He speaks as if he owns all of these towns and villages lock stock and barrel. Is this what we are proudly calling an election? Traditional leaders, a handful of them, wind up in appointing people to municipal councils just in the same way that they appointed them to the parliament. Yes folks you heard it right, Mr. Arslan and Mr. Jumblatt met and determined to “preserve family privileges” according to a spokesperson for the Lebanese Democratic Party. What about the rights of the citizens and what about democracy, a word that is used in the name of each of the two parties in question. It becomes even more ironic, those who are shaping the fate of “democratic elections “ by exercising their suzerainty over the “serfs” in their dominion never feel the absurdity of always referring to themselves as progressive socialists.
And then there is the chief of newspeak. He told his Spanish audience the same thing that he has been fond of repeating at all occasions. He stated that he had no quarrels with the resistance since “it was established to liberate the land and not to commit acts of terror”. Why is it so difficult for Mr. Aoun to understand that no one is opposed to the concept of resistance but what is problematic in the case of the Hezbollah militia is the process. A process that creates a state within a state, one that uses its illegal cache to blackmail others, one that is above the law . There is no place for vigilantism in a democratic society. A process that glorifies those that oppose the established government is a process that is misguided and that needs be harshly criticized and totally rejected.
And alas, a man of the cloth, Grand Mufti Ahmad Qabalan declared that the weapons of the resistance are “our glory and we shall hold to these weapons” never mind that they are smuggled, illegal and sow discord . And the above are only a small part of statements and declarations in favour of “democracy and freedom” in only one day in Lebanon.