Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lebanon is burning again but did it ever stop? On January 27, 2008, street protests ensued in the suburbs of Beirut supposedly because they (not unlike the rest of the country) are on rationed electricity. It started when a group of youths took to the streets of the Chiyah to block off the roads with burning tires. The army responded and the youths started throwing rocks. The army fired into the air and things got worse. The neighbourhood leader for the Amal movement Ali Hamze was killed though the army maintains that they did not fire at the crowd but into the air. Coincidentally, the youths involved have been identified as members of Hizbullah and the Amal movement. From there, things went from bad to worse, as news of Hamze’s death spread, more youths came out to the streets, this time carrying the banners of Hizbullah and Amal. The fighting spread to Ain El Remaneh where a youth on a scooter threw a live hand grenade into the crowd injuring several youths. The fact that Ain El Remaneh is a predominantly Christian area and the grenade was thrown by someone who came into the area on a scooter can be thought to be sectarian provocation of the worst kind. At writing, LBCi had not confirmed the dead or wounded in this latest provocation however, they had confirmed that both Hizbullah and Amal have told their followers to return to their homes. Speeches are pretty words, no actions are following them. The reality is that both of these parties could have prevented these actions by their followers but chose not to. In fact, not too long ago, Hassan Nasrallah in a speech during Ashura threatened the government and told them they would have the followers of both parties take to the streets to get what they want.

It is evident that the so-called opposition is willing to let the entire country burn to return Syrian occupation be it obvious or in the shadows. It is more than obvious that the opposition care nothing for the people they supposedly represent because if they did, they would be cooperating with the members of the Arab league who are trying to broker an agreement. The original argument they had regarding a brokered deal was that it was “American and Israeli” intervention; that argument broke down when the Arab league attempted to broker a deal. Clearly the opposition wants a Syrian-Iranian brokered deal and will accept nothing less
Lebanon is burning again and in reality, we have never stopped. From it’s jnception, Lebanon has always had politicians beholden to outside sources and working to further their own interests. We have yet to see politicians who are fully dedicated to Lebanon or to it’s people. Until we do, Lebanon will continue to burn.


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