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No, Minister!

Friday’s attack on a French UNIFIL convoy was explained with the usual smokescreens of paranoia. Hezbollah condemned the attack, while parliamentary speaker and Amal leader, Nabih Berri, declared that “Israel wants the South to be empty of any international witnesses, so that it can commit crimes and aggressions.”
 
These entirely predictable reactions were however countered by comments from French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe that his government had not ruled out Syrian involvement. Meanwhile, former Lebanese Prime minister Saad Hariri tweeted that the attack was “another Syrian message.” If this is so, it is highly unlikely that it could not have been carried out without the help or at the very least the tacit knowledge of Hezbollah, Syria’s biggest ally in Lebanon.
 
Hezbollah’s ability, not to mention willingness, to create local mayhem on behalf of its foreign partners has never been in doubt. Lebanon stands vulnerable as the region experiences the increasingly powerful tremors of the Arab Spring, and it is no secret that a Syrian government on the back foot might incite chaos in Lebanon as a tactic to ensure its perpetuity in the face of growing local, regional and international pressure.
 
It is therefore essential that the Lebanese government do its best to ensure that security is as watertight as possible. We say “as watertight as possible” because the state has one hand tied behind its back. Hezbollah, with its vast arsenal and its extensive security network is the proverbial elephant in the room, an organization that cannot be relied upon to put its loyalty to Lebanon before Syria and Iran.
 
Faced with this is far from an ideal situation, it is flabbergasting that Lebanon’s Telecommunications Minister Nicholas Sehnaoui said on Sunday that the Change and Reform bloc to which he belongs is a group not opposed to the expansion of Hezbollah’s telecommunications network provided the Lebanese government does not get involved.
 
That would be bad enough, but no, in the true spirit of Lebanese entrepreneurship, Sehnaoui said that as long as Hezbollah carried out the expansion unilaterally, he would be okay with it because ultimately “it is essential in the confrontation with Israel.”
 
It is sad to hear an apparently well-educated and sophisticated man resort to not only promoting the ambitions of his political allies within March 8 but also justifying them by trotting out the tired argument that it is every Lebanese’s duty to confront the Zionist aggressor.
 
We had been led to believe that the Change and Reform bloc was for social and institutional reform and all things good. Sadly, this will never happen as long as Hezbollah is armed to the teeth, controls security and has the country on a permanent war footing. Surely institutional reform does not include the sanctioning of a phone network that will be used by Iran and Syria (let’s not mince words) to carry out its regional ambitions.
 
His naïve argument that the state and Hezbollah should be separate not only flies in the face of his party’s agenda, it shows to what extent the Change and Reform bloc in general and the Free Patriotic Movement in particular have become slaves to a Hezbollah that has no interest in building any institutions save those it can use in the name of conflict.
 
For too long the state has pandered to the whims of the Resistance, particularly when it comes to its so-called private phone network, an issue that sparked five days of fighting in May 2008 and which nearly dragged Lebanon into civil conflict.
 
Last month, the Lebanese media reported that Hezbollah party members had clashed with the residents of the Baabda village of Tarchich after the municipality prevented party members from installing a new segment of its telecommunications network in the area. The residents of Tarchich clearly have a better understanding of what is right and wrong than Sehnaoui. For not only does a political party have no right to use state (and private) land for its own ends, it is clear that many residents were anxious that Tarchich would become a target in any future conflict with Israel and the Party of God.
 
What Sehnaoui, the holder of an office of state, should have said is this:

As a minister of state he cannot condone the establishment of a private security phone network just because it is created in the name of the Resistance. The army, the official defender of Lebanese sovereignty, which is funded by the taxpayer for this purpose, should carry out all intelligence monitoring.
 
That’s what he should have said. He didn’t. Shame on him.

  • Fadi Kassab

    @ Majd, I think you have a mono vision : " who doesn't share my opinion, is wrong. " We cannot build a state with such mentality. Go see what HA has done in Jdaydeh last two weeks by forcing citizens to close their stores in their homeland for Ashoura day (with all due respect to your religeous ceremonies). HA refuses the justice. I'm entering into your game : First, we have never allied ourselves with Syrian regime, please don't falsify the facts. Secondly, no one destroyed the Christians in Lebanon as this Syrian regime did by occupying lebanon for more than 15 years and placing Emile Lahoud as head of state, expulsing two christians leader and the third one in jail. No one but the syrian regime is allied SECRETLY with Israel. How come there had never been a single ROCK thrown from Golan to Israel since the 60s ? the syrian Assad army is strong killing it's own people and coward to liberate their own land ?! just to make it clear.

    December 28, 2011

  • ali daoud

    @@Fadi, yes, some Muslims used the palestinians who in turn were using those Muslims, each for its own interest, and that`s why the Christians wanted the syrian interference, however, it`s not true that your alliance with the syrians was a mistake, it is well known that the syrians don`t betray their true friends, the christians made the huge mistake when they betrayed the syrians and allied secretly and later openly with israel. yes, it is true some southerners threw rice on the israelis because they suffered from the palestinians, and it`s wrong, however, those were a small minority and the majority didn`t take much time to start its resistance against the israeli occupation, on the other hand, the Christian leaders allied strategically with israel and cooperated the israeli invasion and that`s a huge mistake. now, tell me how HA is not respecting human rights and is imposing his opinion on others? thank you, happy new year to you too.

    December 27, 2011

  • Fadi Kassab

    @ Majd, by the way i'm originally from south lebanon (Lebaa, Jezzine district) and I have a lot of friends from Shia community in the south. Respectable people, they have their point of view and we always share our opinion, it doesn't mean i'm an LFer that I mean to harm you, no. I mean we should all be under the state control by letting the army doing its job with a government on the basic of human right. We all believe that Israel is the enemy of Lebanon because they betray and their only interest is getting rid of the Palestinians from their territory... anyway, we all hope that one day these Palestinians will be returning to their homeland.

    December 27, 2011

  • Fadi Kassab

    @ Majd, thank you very much :) and happy new year as well for you and family. If the LF collaborated with Israel then there was muslim militias collaborating with the Palestinians.. what's the difference as soon as they are targeting lebanese citizens.. and yes, trusting the syrian as ally was the biggest mistake.. they was supposed coming helping the christians and we realized that they were entering lebanon for geographical goal. And for all due respect, when Israel entered South lebanon, they were welcomed by Shia with Rices.. We all trusted in the Israelis and at the end we all realized they entered for their own interests. Well, establishing a democratic system whereas freedom and Human Rights of every citizen are protected and guaranteed this is all we want but the Hezbollah organization (with all due respect) is not respecting the human rights and they're acting like our enemies by imposing their opinion on others, and denying the logic of state.

    December 27, 2011

  • ali daoud

    @@Fadi, first Merry Christmas to you and your family. second, the collaboration between israel and the LF is not an opinion, it`s a fact that nobody can deny. you claim you were alone against the whiole world, not true, syria was your ally and syria was the strongest in lebanon back then before the israeli invasion, the LF have chosen to ally with israel and to turn against syria because they thought israel and its allies /arabs will rule the region, the LF simply made false political calculations, they knew israel will invade in 1978 and later in 1982, they thought they will be on the winner side, well, things went astray after Bachir`s assassination. fellow, i don`t deny the other part in Lebanon, actually we the Shia didn`t have a major war against the Christians, i know Bachir was charismatic and it`s logical you love him, but let`s admit that he made huge mistakes. thanks, my pleasure too.

    December 25, 2011

  • Fadi Kassab

    @ Majd, we didn't deny the sacrifice of south lebanon people, we recognized their courage several time. Ok, it's your opinion if the LF collaborated with the Israelis but what we were supposed to do ? the whole world was against us and were organizing ships to take us away from lebanon (Kissinger plan).. what we were supposed to do ? staying and praying ? doing nothing ? letting the other side calling us FOREIGNER ? Bachir Gemayel was a great leader and we're proud of our past. We sacrificed a lot for a free lebanon. Sir, you cannot deny the other part of Lebanon. And yes, Raymond Eddeh was with the lebanese front by the end and recognized the lebanese forces as true resistance after Bachir Gemayel took position against Palestinians militias and the Syrian army. Yes, the Cairo agreement was a hudge mistake, and I'm a veteran fighters in the LF, we all stood on Bachir Gemayel side against all the mistakes commited. Anyway, it's a pleasure arguing with you

    December 24, 2011

  • Intissar H.

    Talk about irrelevance Majd or Mohammad Fawaz now that we've agreed that's who you are. You mean in your "mind" if I come to your home and help your son, we'll call him Abbas, your guests and a bunch of foreigners beat you up, rape and pillage and when we are about to win and evict you I tell you hey let me help you defeat the rapist killers and you do, it's all your fault. That's what the Syrians did as you've admitted. What you constantly ignore is that the Syrian Army's presence became official as part of 2ouwet l Rad3 to keep the peace but decided to make war on whoever disagreed and became an occupying force, Assad Sr never accepted Lebanon's independence. That's why the Christians turned on him. You also ignore that Christians were being ethnically cleansed from everywhere remember what happened after the Syrians murdered junblat. You also ignore thousands of poor southern Shiites welcoming the Israelis the first time they invaded in 78 because by then they hated the PLO more.

    December 24, 2011

  • ali daoud

    @@Fadi, Raymond Eddeh has nothing to do with the Lebanese front, he actually was their advesary, and i sure don`t consider him a collaborator. look, when i consider some Lebanese leaders as collaborators it doesn`t mean i consider their Lebanese followers as collaborators too, and when one Lebanese leader deals or cooperates with israel, then what shall i call him?!!! about the palestinians, we too in the south fought against them, however, we sacrificed more than you did because the Palestinians ruled and controlled the south, however they didn`t rule eastern beirut. do you know the Palestinians used to bring their women to step on the Lebanese Shia captives? we fought them too, but when israel invaded Lebanon, then we resisted and fought and sacrificed. sure Sayyed Nasrallah would say he wouldn`t do the operation if he knew israel would retaliate by a full scale war, however, it doesn`t mean Sayyed is not satisfied by the results of the war militarily speaking.

    December 22, 2011

  • Fadi Kassab

    Dear Majd, Please if you want a special discussion on the civil war issues, you have your opinion and I showed you my respect. This is the main problem we have with you and Hezbollah, because you consider the Lebanese Front (Camil Chamoun, Raymond Eddeh, Bachir Gemayel) which represent at least 51% of the lebanese people (in Lebanon and abroad), traitors and collaborators. This thought by rejecting others bring the country to a desastreous conflict. With all due respect, thank you

    December 21, 2011

  • Fadi Kassab

    @ Majd, We asked help from the syrian army back in time to help us to defend our homes, ... to HELP US and not to DESTROY US like they did.. If bombarding Achrafieh, kidnapping citizens, destroying Zahle with their Mi-24 you call this "THEY HELPED YOU", you're on the wrong side. Sir, in every war there is mistakes... even S. Hassan Nasrallah (with all due respect) has described his regrets BECAUSE they didn't know that Israel will destroy the whole country.. come on it's all available in Wikileaks where all your allies criticized Hezbollah back in 2006 . War = destruction... We fought the Kissinger plan, and we are proud that Tel Aviv Road didn't pass trough Jounieh, we succeeded because Lebanon didn't switch to Palestine II. Your allies back then should had respected the lebanese christians by not calling them " FOREIGNERS". Happy holidays my friend, Respectfully.

    December 21, 2011

  • ali daoud

    @@Fadi, with all due respect too, i understand when you feel you have to defend yourselves against the palestinians, but i don`t understand how you may ask for the syrian help and later betray the syrians, and even that betrayal may be understood if you haven`t allied yourselves with israel for no reason except your belief that israel will gain the upper hand in the region after Camp David, for me, loyalty is a priority, you cannot betray the one who helped you, you may criticize him if he did wrong but you don`t ally with his enemy and your country`s enemy against the one who helped and saved you. The two Kataeb Presidents were not elected by the Lebanese people as you claim, they were elected by Lebanese parliament members many of whom were threatened and forced to vote as they did. i see the LF past is nothing but failures, they always fought the wrong wars and caused disasterous results, the LF went to al Jabal and east Saida and el Chahar and brought nothing except the expuslion.

    December 20, 2011

  • ali daoud

    @@intissar, you meant to ignore the substance and hang on to the irrelevant!!!!even if your claim that the syrians were already in is true (here i wonder if they were in thousands or in tens!!!), does it change anything in the fact that your leaders went in a public official visit to syria asking the syrians to interfere and save them?!!!! does it change anything in the fact that the syrians ACTUALLY interfered and saved them?!!!! what did the syrians get in return? well, the rightist christians later switched sides, betrayed the syrians, and sided with the israelis since they thought israel will gain the upper hand after Egypt made peace with israel. so, they started cooperating with israel about the 1982 israeli invasion which brought two Kataeb president to power. now, yes, very few southerners were happy to rid of the palestinians atrocities, others collaborated with israel, however, what did the majority do?!!! the majority resisted and sacrificed in order to liberate Lebanon.

    December 20, 2011

  • Fadi Kassab

    @ Majd, for all your respect, you have to acknowledge that there were a resistance before 1990 and take it in mind that we're strongly proud of our past, whatever you do, or think of us, we are proud of our past, and we were forced to take arms and protects ourselves against Palestinians naturalization and syrian occupation when Lebanon was in danger. You say : " Those people you call "Lebanese Resistance" were the ones who brought the syrians in and later brought the israelis in and made two presidents through the israeli aid " these two presidents you cited are presidents ELECTED by the LEBANESE PEOPLE and you have to welcome the other opinion who doesn't share your point of view. I think that without the LF and their sacrifice, we won't be alive today. This is my opinion, the true resistance is the LF who refuses the Palestinians naturalization and fought as lebanese when other parties were fighting against it's own people in Achrafieh, Ain Remmani, Zahle. Respectfully,

    December 20, 2011

  • Intissar H.

    It's hypocritical of Majd ie Mohammad Fawaz to bring up who asked the Syrians to come in when he knows full well that the Syrians were already in before anyone asked them to and that they did not leave when their were asked to. It's even more hypocritical of Mohammad Fawaz not to mention that the reason the Syrians were asked to come in the first place was because people like him decided that the Palestinian Resistance was defending Lebanon and thus needed to have arms in a state inside the Lebanese state. His hypocrisy goes even beyond that when he forgets that his saints of south Lebanon welcomed the invading Israeli army with kisses, flowers and rice because they were riding them of the Palestinian state withing the sate that their leaders had supported. According to Michel Aoun the Islamic resistance did not liberate the South, instead it prolonged its ıIsraeli occupation, reality slaps.

    December 18, 2011

  • ali daoud

    @@Sami and Fadi,,,, The Islamic Resistance is the true Lebanese Resistance and don`t be so naive to care about the name and neglect the content and the doings. The Islamic Resistance is defending Lebanon and it Liberated Lebanon and is protecting Lebanon, what did they ask for in return?!!!!!!!!!NOTHING!!!!!!!! all other Lebanese parties care to come to power in order to take major posts, control the county`s economy and jobs and resources, ...etc. The Islamic Resistance is The ONLY Lebanese Resistance because they are giving all sacrifices to the benefit of all Lebanese without asking for anything in return except protecting that Lebanese power. Those people you call "Lebanese Resistance" were the ones who brought the syrians in and later brought the israelis in and made two presidents through the israeli aid, they cared only for their own benefit, where is Lebanon in all their actions?!!!! they move from one side to the other depending on their own self interest,get real now!

    December 16, 2011

  • plato

    Majd, Lebanese Resistance could refer to many groups, the Lebanese Nationalist who fought the PLO, their mercenaries and the Syrians or the Lebanese Leftists, secular and Arab Nationalists who fought the Israeli army in Beirut and in the south until they were stabbed in the back and their leaders silenced forever by your Iranian financed militia. The term has never been used in reference to the so called hezb Allah. Hell they don't even use it themselves, they call themselves the Islamic Revolution in Lebanon or lately Islamic Resistance in Lebanon says so right there on the package, I call it truth in advertising. In their own manifesto they refer to themselves as the vanguards of one army that will spread all over the world fulfilling Khomeini's dream of exporting the Islamic Revolution throughout.

    December 15, 2011

  • `saadeldine almekari

    the same way hezbollah was created the same way their network in telecommunication it will start. it was small party now grown and taking over the country or at least trying.their telecoms will compete against the Lebanese network to become the main provider its how those in Hezbollah are doing its not to spy on the Israeli intelligence or ordinary people in Lebanon when you think about it why in the past when the Lebanese intelligence discover their network and MR EID GOD BLESS HIS SOUL WAS KILLED.DONT YOU WONDER the main reason behind it .its so many question that will never be answered.spying on our politicians for start spying on our intelligence as well would you not wonder whether those who claim their network is for what.its the main reason its spying on our country not Israel.Israel already found out so tell me what is the purpose to build that network other than taking over the Lebanese network the main reason its that.MR NAHAS AND MR SAHNAWI. are supporting isn't nonsense tal

    December 15, 2011

  • Fadi Kassab

    @ Majd, the Lebanese Resistance is the resistance (LF,Kataeb, Ahrar) who fought against Palestinians naturalisation and syrian occupation in Lebanon back in 1975-1990. In fact, the resistance you're refering to, is the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon and not the Lebanese Resistance.

    December 15, 2011

  • like it is

    Majd the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon is honor less and duty impaired, it's all about shameless thuggery as Nawwaf Moussawi demonstrated in front of the whole Lebanese people yesterday and Ali Amar before him, funny how it's always members of that same caucus that Berri needs to reprimand.

    December 15, 2011

  • red

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety - Benjamin Franklin

    December 14, 2011

  • Sigh

    Yes Majd keep drinking the Kool-Aid.

    December 14, 2011

  • Sami

    Majd, it is not Lebanese resistance, it is shia militia.

    December 14, 2011

  • ali daoud

    the whole government and the whole Lebanese people should behave and judge the same way Minister Sahnaoui did, supporting the Lebanese Resistance is an honor and a duty, surely not a shame when a Lebanese is concerned!!!!!!!!!

    December 13, 2011

  • `saadeldine almekari

    from basil to sahnawi to the general to the rest of the aouni.since when those people talk sense.the competition with those are the one who prove that his more idiot than the rest will by right take over the party because GENERAL ELRABIEH about to denounce his leadership so please Lebanese people don't be surprise anymore to this kind of unfaithful talk which comes from them.our army should retaliate or even take order from now against people who are underestimate what the army are and what could do its their jobs to protect the country as well as the nation not any other party.MR MIKATI should teach those people how to talk and behave from now on

    December 13, 2011

  • axan

    JUSTICE WILL COME SOON!

    December 13, 2011

  • Sami

    anyone who beleive this minister and his fellow Aouni ministers are anti Israel and anti USA should have their head examined. Read wikileaks and you would understand. The day I see a Aouni supporter fighting Israel and dying, only then i may beleive it.

    December 13, 2011

  • abdobouabdo

    IIM NOT SURPRISED, COMING FROM SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT KNOW THAT NUMBER THREE IN ARABIC I S THLATEH AND NOT KLATEH , IM NOT SURE WHAT KIND OF REFORM THOSE BOYS HAVE IN MIND,

    December 13, 2011

  • abdobouabdo

    IIM NOT SURPRISED, COMING FROM SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT KNOW THAT NUMBER THREE IN ARABIC I S THLATEH AND NOT KLATEH , IM NOT SURE WHAT KIND OF REFORM THOSE BOYS HAVE IN MIND,

    December 13, 2011

  • alsidani

    Incompetent ! For example the CIA or fbi run a different telecommunication system in the USA from the civilian and private system ,but under the watch of federal government Their no a free for all ,this miniter is making himself irrelevant He is blurring or maybe obliterating any legitimacy to the Lebanese state What next ,a different harbor, airport ,tax collection,why you draw the line Please remove those naives from power for god sake!

    December 13, 2011

  • lebanese critics

    Nawwa Nichola.....How can a Aounist be reasonable? By definition, Aounist is against any reasons so please do not blame this Syrian boy and what a shame to have this Lebanese group shift to a prosyrian agenda......And now becoming minister of telecommunication. In Lebanon, if you fail in being a member of the parliament in elections, meaning the majority of your people (families and friends), you will be promoted to be a minister........Nichola Sa7 w Newi, ysallem Libnen bi tlateen min al fidda.....

    December 13, 2011

  • Susan-America

    I certainly do not agree that Israel is the agressor or your enemy but otherwiset the voice of reason seems to be here with you. Have you tried to speak with the government of Israel? Perhaps you share a common foe in Hezbollah.

    December 12, 2011