The conventional wisdom about the “moderation” of Lebanon’s sunnis and Tunisian society will be severely tested in coming period
Both countries have elites and popular bases which will tell you over and over again about the essential moderation of their societies. This extremely hopeful pronouncement – tunisians make up a large segment of the radical fighters in iraq and syria and Lebanon has a long history of extremism all around – will likely be severely tested in the coming period as this columnist predicts below. That’s what happens when you militerize the region after all, as those advocating a “controlled collapse” of the syrian regime have now discovered. Translated from Mideastwire.com
On October 1, Denise Attallah Haddad wrote the following report in the independent, leftist As-Safir daily: “Is ISIL really preparing for a major war against Lebanon…? And does Lebanon possess the necessary means to defend its borders, security and sovereignty all the way to shielding its socioeconomic stability? Are we living strapped to explosive ticking bombs that are ticking away? A Lebanese political sources says: “unless we find a quick way to cut the wires of this bomb, the country will blow up and no one will be safe from the shrapnel of this devastating explosion.”
“The source re-expressed his fears over a dramatic development that might affect Lebanon and its people in the few upcoming weeks. “If we do survive our shaky economic situation and the repercussions of the social pressure that is nearing the extent of an explosion for several reasons, then the leaked information concerning ISIL and its plans as well as the actions of the countries and their wars against ISIL are not reassuring. On the contrary, all the leaks indicate the need for finding quick ways out for the little crises with which we are keeping busy in order to confront the major plot that is being implemented and that is prone to expand. The compromises at this point are warranted not for one another’s sake but for the sake of the country’s stability and protection.
“When explaining the reasons for concern and fear, the source said: “Who can tell us what the armed men are preparing in the barren areas? Logic indicates that they are bracing to launch a violent attack against Lebanon. They will not remain hostages to the security grip. They will work on breaking free one way or another. This will only occur through a new confrontation with the army.”
“According to the same politician: “The armed groups are proving every day that they have plans and that they know what they want. The division of the Lebanese is growing and their differences over everything, including the army and its actions, are growing deeper. They are encouraging sedition and we, knowingly or unknowingly, are helping in achieving their will and desires.”
“He added: “We cannot rely indefinitely on the openness and moderation of the Lebanese nor can we rely on the theories indicating that, at the end of the day, people hate radicalism. Tunisia, one of the most open and moderate countries, announced that it has re-gained control over 210 mosques that were under the control of groups affiliated to a radical Jihadist movement and closed 29 mosques in the past few months. Tunisia also announced that it has banned 9,000 Tunisian men from traveling because they were planning to fight with the radical groups in Iraq and Syria. In light of all this, how will our situation be knowing that we are in direct contact and at the heart of the fighting arenas both on the geographical and political levels?”
“In paradox, the political source is equally worried about the armed groups and the “project of the countries that are fighting them. Now that these countries have cornered the armed groups in Iraq and in Syria…, higher numbers of these radical fighters will likely be heading to the Lebanese borders and gathering along the borders where they will be barricading themselves and getting ready.” He added: “Is this what some countries really want? Do they really want to confront ISIL and their likes on the Lebanese lands? Do they want to lure the Lebanese parties into taking part in this war? Are they aware of the cost of that on this country? Will this country even remain one? Or is this exactly what they want?” The same political source concluded by saying: “We are locked in a feverish race with time. Either we break the freeze and proceed towards a joint Lebanese settlement to shield our country, or we will be eaten gradually in succession or concomitantly. There’s no difference between a white ox and a black one.”