Political Observation - Lebanon, Jordan and Arab Protests

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - Lebanon, Jordan and Arab Protests 

First: Amid the relentlessness of the dynamism, most of the Lebanese parliamentary blocs have reached an agreement on naming Hassan Diab as a new prime minister; according to media reports, he has won 69 seats from Hezbollah, the Amal Movement, the Free Patriotic Movement, the Marada Movement, the National Bloc, the Nationalist Party and the Consultative Gathering. Only six deputies from al-Hariri’s movement voted for him. This prime minister, who is viewed as independent and a technocrat, is a former minister and vice president of the American University of Beirut. 

The outline of the Lebanese issue is reflected in the US agenda’s endeavour to deviate the compass of enmity of the so-called frontline states towards Iran, thus heralding the regional solution which would lead to normalising the status of the Jewish state in the region. Bin Salman and Bin Zayed are in charge of executing this agenda while Netanyahu has been boasting about it and exploiting it in his electoral campaign. What is required is removing the obstacles impeding the process of transferring Lebanon to the camp of belligerence towards Iran by liberating the Lebanese government from the hegemony of Hezbollah, and by stripping the latter of its weapons; this necessitates refocusing on the national identity instead of the sectarian identity that gives Iran’s subordinates strength in Lebanon. Al-Hariri failed to achieve this and his government could not raise the debate on the “defence strategy” behind which Hezbollah had been bulwarking itself to justify its armament throughout its tenure, and it could not force Hezbollah to withdraw from Syria.

Hence, the foreign aid to salvage Lebanon from economic collapse has become dependent on meeting the demands of the dynamism, which are totally in tune with the demands of the donor states, namely forming a technocrat government which would place Hezbollah outside the decision-making circle, thus heralding its disarmament and tightening economic sanctions against it, and subsequently, shifting Lebanon towards the camp of confrontation with Iran.

Hezbollah wanted al-Hariri to continue in office since he represented America’s interests and to maintain the sectarian formula that had been nurturing Hezbollah , rather than having a technocrat government curtailing its influence, and to share the responsibility for the deteriorating domestic situation with its rivals; but it has failed. To add insult to injury, al-Hariri and his party expressed their reservations vis-à-vis the nomination of Hassan Diab which led to stripping the government of the “Sunni” cover and holding Hezbollah and its team as the only ones responsible for the deterioration, thus increasing the pressure of the dynamism against them. 

Second: The collusion of the Jordanian regime in settling the Palestinian issue at the expense of the Jordanian entity in exchange for the survival of the royal family and the succession to the throne has become clearer than any time before. Former senator and political adviser Adnan Abu Odeh mentioned during a recent interview that former US Secretary of State James Baker had told him back in 1991 that there would never be a Palestinian state. This narrative has become conspicuously reflected in the policy of the US towards al-Quds and the refugees, and in the pressure she has been exerting on Jordan’s economy. This is the reason why Jordanian opposition forces, who are set to benefit from the tussle between the government apparatuses, have upped the ante; and this is why they have been lurking in the shadows and magnifying the mistakes of the king, his wife and his men. The opposition have also been taking advantage of the score-settling between government officials who have been washing their dirty linen in public. All this serves the purpose of the constitutional changes America is seeking, namely the competencies of the king, electoral law and parliamentary government. 

One of the most prominent signs indicating that the regime has tuned its domestic policy according to the requirements of the regional solution is its reshaping of the army, downsizing its efficacy in dealing with foreign threats and weakening it in order to give the parliamentary government authority over the army in the future under the pretext to forsake their duty towards Palestine; on the other side of the coin, the Public Security Directorate (PSD) has been strengthened and integrated within the General Directorate of Gendarmerie (GDG) with Major General Hussein al-Hawatmeh appointed to take the helm in preparation for a repressive phase requiring a “gendarmerie” mentality to oversee the security apparatus and change its security doctrine to guarantee the shaping of the regime and the transfer of power, and to tackle and muzzle any popular rebellion against the outputs of the regional solution, especially if “Israel” went ahead with annexing the Jordan Valley, which would cancel the option of confederation and make the alternative homeland the only option available. All this political manoeuvring is taking place while people’s attention is drawn to the economic aspect and administrative corruption at the expense of the vital political issues which are set to be a hefty price to pay for securing their livelihood. On the other hand, Middle East Eye reported that “Israeli” foreign minister Israel Katz sought to sign a non-aggression pact with the Gulf States in early October to pave the way for potential peace agreements in the future. "Recently, I have been promoting, under the backing of the United States, a political initiative to sign 'non-aggression agreements' with the Arab Gulf states," Katz wrote on Twitter.

"The historic move will put an end to the conflict and allow civilian cooperation until peace agreements are signed", Katz wrote on Twitter. He added that he had discussed the non-aggression plan with Arab foreign ministers and US President Donald Trump's outgoing envoy for the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, during the meetings of the UN General Assembly back in September. This proves that Arab States have been in agreement with all the measures undertaken to liquidate the Palestinian issue since Donald Trump took office, and that the Arab chieftains’ feigned aversion to the so-called Deal of the Century has merely been for media consumption.

Third: The dynamism of the Jordanian opposition cannot be described as popular even if it expressed some of the demands of the masses to get rid of corruption and oppression because it has turned racism into a value superseding that of equality which is necessitated by the democracy they call for. It does not represent the volition of the masses because some of what it is calling for contradicts first and foremost Islam that most of the people in Jordan embrace. The discourse of the opposition derives its ammunition and obtains its legitimacy from secularism since religion forbids discrimination between brothers in Islam on ethnic grounds, and rejects constitutional monarchy and all types of ruling systems emanating from the remnants of modernist political thought. The opposition’s declared rejection of the “religious state” is not a rejection of the theocratic state but rather any establishment of authority on the basis of Islam. And this is a flagrant defiance of the law of Allah the Almighty and the volition of the Muslim people of Jordan, from which they seek to cajole the Kafir foreign powers and reassure the Jewish entity. 

Fourth: The new approach in the attempts to circumvent the protests in Arab countries is not only confined to appointing puppet rulers who could not be attributed to a specific movement. The regimes represented by the deep state and the political parties are kept away from direct responsibility and criticism so that they may act as a safety valve in containing and framing the popular movements or as the sponge that absorbs the resentment of the masses and vents it in the shape of token demands such as replacing a puppet by another from the reserves of collaborators or from those who accept to be a puppet in the hands of the collaborators. This has been noted in Sudan, Tunisia and Algeria, in the demands of the popular dynamisms in Iraq and Lebanon, and in what is being concocted through the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, which is set to generate the various loyalties and determine the specifications of Syria’s leaders and confine their selection to the US in the forthcoming phase. 

29 Rabi’ al-Akhir 1441h
26 December 2019