Sunday, May 20, 2012

Civil War? It's 2012. Not 1974. Yet.

Let me take you back to 1974.
Clashes start to take place between Lebanese Army and armed palestinians. Under the command of the president, they try to dismantle PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) strongholds. They were faced by well armed opposition and some lebanese joined the Palestinians against the army. When talks to end the fighting failed in Egypt, simultaneously the lebanese army suffered a humiliating loss during battles. They could not enter the Palestinian camps.

Lebanese president contacts the political leaders of his country and tells them "after today, the lebanese government cannot protect you."

This triggered a race to arming militias. Each community (Maronites, Sunnis, etc) armed and created its trained militia.

A year later, the lebanese civil war started officially.

This is 2012.
Lebanese army is accused of assassinating a sheikh in Akkar.

A few hours earlier a protest in Tripoli announcing the intentions to form a 'free lebanese army'. Independent from the Lebanese state.

Road blocks and burning tires were set up in Tripoli and Beirut. Intense armed fighting takes place in Beirut and Tripoli. The army deploys tanks and soldiers in these areas. Army is not able to stop the fighting.

I don't know if you are noticing a pattern here. But Lebanon has a tipping point. Democracy is based on being able to apply the rule of law.

Once the army fails at doing so, we will reach our tipping point.

We've reached that point in 1974.

Today, the army might expect a confrontation soon. If the army fails... If the army is no longer reliable... If we loose our trust in the army, then we would reach our tipping point again.

We need the army to be trusted by the different political parties. If the army fails then they will take things in their own hands. They will be armed and ready to defend their areas. Not because they want a civil war, but because they want to know they are protected.

Its 2012. It's not 1974. Not yet.

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