Photo: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri appeared on Al-Arabiya from Saudi Arabia
A note to AP
Note of the Editor in Chief: Before publishing the next article, MEA – MidEastAnalyst would like to note that AP Bureau Beirut simply copied and pasted the Tweets or Linkedin article of Joumana Gebara, a violation of the Copyrights Laws.
Will AP Bureau Beirut copy and paste the next article too and violate Copyrights of MEA – MidEastAnalyst?
In the article entitled “AP Explains: What is behind the Lebanese PM’s resignation” published under on November 4 (actually November 5), 2017, Sarah El-Deeb and Head of AP Bureau in Beirut, Zeina Karam “explain” the Hariri Resignation. They simply copied and pasted most of Joumana Gebara’s article which was previously published on her Twitter account @Joumana_Gebara early morning of November 4, 2017, then her linkedin profile, Joumana Gebara: My latest: Understanding Lebanon: What is behind Hariri’s resignation and what’s next?, then on MEA – MidEastAnalyst: Hariri’s resignation: What’s behind it and what’s next?
A note to the mass media
If the mass media wants Lebanon to become a sovereign state, it is its duty to state facts as they are. Imagine, you go on TV and tell the world: “I am out of Lebanon, I feel threatened, Hezbollah wants to kill me.” And then the mass media publishes an article simply linking “you feeling threatened by X or Y” with the feud of tribes in Deir Ezzor or Mosul.
As if Hezbollah never threatened or killed anyone, some media are simply publishing Hariri’s resignation linked to the Iran-Saudi feud. As if Hariri’s father, Rafic Hariri, was not killed, nor Pierre Gemayel, Antoine Ghanem, Francois Hajj, Samer Hanna, Mustafa Geha, Mohamad Shateh, George Hawi, Ido etc. And as if since the call to oust Syria from Lebanon in 2005 till the civil war broke in Syria in 2011, no one’s life was threatened. As if no one marched into Beirut in 2008, then treated the Lebanese Army as subordinate of Hezbollah. As if no one fled Lebanon to live abroad. Well, Saad Hariri who feels threatened did flee previously and live in exile. He returned after a deal with Hezbollah, but does this ensure that he will remain alive? Who told the mass media that circumstances did not change?
Some media outlets proved that they either have an agenda and are not portraying the truth to public opinion, or they have an unqualified personnel incapable of simple reporting about FACTS any Lebanese child knows, or their journalists fear stating the truth, which is understable, when one remembers the fate of Gibran Tueini and Samir Kassir.
There are VERY IMPORTANT DETAILS which remain unmentioned by the mass media and exactly those details change the context of reality. The mass media should focus on the era 2005-2011 and that Hariri explicitly stated that his life is endangered and he was threatened by Hezbollah. And the era 2011-2017, that most Lebanese were against Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria, but their plight was not respected. And that Iran has repetitively declared that it took over Beirut among other capital states in the Middle East.
“I am aware of what is being plotted to target my life.”
Most articles do not mention the era 2005-2017. No mention of all the assassinations which occurred and they surely were not orchestrated by the Zionists, unless Zionists serve Assad’s and Hezbollah’s agenda. No mention of Hezbollah-Qaeda, Hezbollah-ISIS deal forced on the government in Arsal. No mention of Rouhani’s statement that “Nothing occurs in the region without Iran’s decision”. No mention that Hariri already stated post-Iranian Ambassador visit just few hours before he declared his resignation, that he felt his life is threatened. No mention that Iraq’s security is in the hands of Iran and that Lebanon has the same fate. The mass media must convey to the public opinion realities of Lebanon, before mentioning the regional aspects.
What is next? U.S. Comeback and a Saudi Arabia re-positioning IF
Only last week, Assad called the U.S. “invaders.” “The U.S. is illegitimately in Syria”, a statement reiterated by the axis of evil: Assad-Hezbollah-Iran. Although Assad and his gangs refused to fight ISIS from 2013 to 2017, and mainly the YPG, the Kurds of Syria, are the ones who fought ISIS. During those years, Turkey and Assad-Hezbollah had oil and gas deals with ISIS, among other industrial sectors. This was confirmed by the French and German governments, which stopped imports from Syria in 2015, because the goods sent to Europe by Assad’s regime were from the ISIS region.
“The U.S. is illegitimately in Syria”, and Iran ensured and declared that the U.S. and its allies, the SDF including the YPG, would not take part to peace talks, neither in Astana nor in Geneva. The U.S. was game out till Hariri’s resignation, although the U.S.-led SDF were quasi the only ones who fought ISIS in Syria.
The U.S. administration under President Trump tried very hard to gain the European Union governments to its side against Iran but failed. The Hariri resignation will change everything IF… IF Hariri really maintains the resignation position and IF Sunni, Christians, Druze and non-Hezbollah/Amal Shiite affiliates of Lebanon rally behind Hariri and refuse the appointment of another Prime Minister till the conditions of Hariri are met: Disarming the illegitimate weapons of Hezbollah and creating a Lebanese state.
Why will everything change?
A long as Hariri resigns and no other Sunni takes over the Prime Minister position, the Lebanese government will remain paralyzed and would be only “Houkoumat Tasrif A’amal” (A ministry which has the sole role of management) thus cannot take decisions. This means that all oil and gas deals among other agreements cannot take effect and thus the European corporates, and their governments, which were on the Russia-Iran axis will change their policy, which so far was in favor of Iran. So you can expect a European outcry and change of policy against Assad and Iran in coming days, IF see above conditions.
This means, the comeback of U.S. and SDF on negotiation tables, the comeback of U.S. in Syria as a legitimate force. This also means a repositioning of Saudi Arabia, which has begun reforming its Islamic teachings, into gaining regional power. This also means that Iran will have to compromise in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.
What about Lebanon?
Lebanon is a different case. I will mention few but important points, which must be taken into consideration:
Despite all the pressure, Christians will not easily rally behind Hariri without anything in return. Post-Taef,
- Christians lost all powers: They lost their presidential and intel power to Sunni and their security and military power to Shiite.
- Israel reiterates its threats to Lebanon, putting all Lebanese in one basket, and publishing Yinon Plan. Israel has the duty to clarify that it has no aims to take over Lebanon or other states in the region as mentioned in the Yinon plan, which was published 1982. Israel has the duty to halt its violation of 1771, other UN Resolutions and violation of Lebanon’s territory. Israel has the duty to clearly declare and sign an agreement for the establishment of a Palestinian State. It could create an economic alliance: Israel-Palestine-Jordan-Egypt, which would be more beneficial than wars.
- The Lebanese Army must be empowered to be able to thwart any invasion, whether from Israel or Syria. Disarming Hezbollah without granting Shiite that they will remain safe, will not succeed. Shiite have “sacrificed” a lot in order to expand their power and they will not easily subjugate without huge reactions, ranging from world terror acts targeting the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia to internal Lebanese civil war.
- After a century, oil and gas were discovered on Lebanon’s shore. Lebanon would be economically self-sufficient and prosper, if those resources are exploited the right way. With Hariri’s resignation a conflict of interests arises. Probably, Saudi Arabia wants to oust Qatar’s companies, and U.S. wants to oust Russian and European companies which gained the bidding.
What about Russia?
Russia has probably had its deals with Saudi Arabia before Hariri’s resignation. The FDI 2017 was not a usual FDI as I mentioned in my previous reports in October, 2017. At the end, Russia cannot contain Hezbollah and Iran alone, and it knows that. Russia is well-established in Syria and Bashur Kurdistan, it also has its ties with YPG in Rojava-Jazeera in Syria. Russia will relax, because its position is very strong.
The most active on the political scene will be Germany, France, Italy and Sweden. The French government and corporates have concluded agreements with Iran and penetrated its markets. Germany needs the gas and oil, North Stream II and Ceyhan pipeline, and needs to return the refugees. Italy concluded with Lebanon oil deals and has railways and other projects with Turkey and Iran, it will not remain inactive. Sweden and other European countries also have interests, which conflict with a chaos.
So “what’s next”?
The answer depends, whether Hariri will really resign and remain on his stances and whether Saudi Arabia and the U.S. coordinated a plan and have in petto a plan B because Iran will not easily subjugate. Also, European countries, Qatar and Turkey will not simply stand and watch inactively.
Joumana Gebara – Senior Middle East Analyst