Monday, 18 June 2012

Lebanon’s Future Movement: Fearing the Forthcoming Days

The Future MP maintains that his party does not arm anyone in the North and that Future supporters are committed to keeping calm. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah)
Published Sunday, June 17, 2012

“If the security situation in Lebanon and Syria remains as it is now, I doubt that the parliamentary elections will take place on time.” This was the conclusion of a Future Movement member of parliament after a comprehensive analysis of the security and political situation, beginning in North Lebanon and ending in the South. In his opinion, the Syrian crisis, which has reached Lebanon, even if the Lebanese deny this, “will reflect negatively on the security situation here, and this might lead to the postponement of the elections.”

Despite that, the Future MP admits that he is preparing for the elections as if they will take place as scheduled. However, despite oiling his election machine, he repeats that he thinks “they are unlikely to take place.” This is because, according to his reading of the Syrian crisis, the situation is “escalating and it is unlikely that we will not be affected by it.” Hailing from the Bekaa region, the MP predicts that the eruption on the Lebanese front might take place in two areas, either in the North or in the town of Irsal. The latest breaches by the regular Syrian army indicate that “there is escalation against the town of Irsal.” He expects that “the Syrian army will enter Irsal and carry out a military operation there.”

He insists that arms smuggling to Syria is carried out by individuals and is not an organized trade. He confirmed, “there is no organizational decision in the Future Movement to support the Syrian revolution with weapons. The simple fact is that some individuals who used to smuggle diesel, now smuggle weapons.” He adds: “Arms trading needs two sides, the smuggler and the receiver, the one on the other side.” He says: “The Syrian army is mobilized all over the Lebanese borders, if there was no one to receive it on the other side, there would be no trade.” He adds that currently “even the trade in diesel has stopped.”

As for the North, he says: “The decision to explode the scene in Tripoli is in the hands of Rifaat Eid [leader of the Lebanese Arab Democratic Party], who said that the Syrian army could enter the area.” The Future MP maintains that his party does not arm anyone in the North and that Future supporters are committed to keeping calm, the biggest evidence for this being what happened in Akkar after the killing of the two sheikhs. He says that had Future leaders not intervened in Akkar “the reaction of the locals would have been much stronger.”

As for Tripoli, he believes that those who are financing the armed men in the city are two sides: “Hezbollah and Najib Mikati.” And Saad Hariri? He laughs and says: “We did not make an organizational decision to support the armed men, and we are not people of ‘the gun.’” But as usual, the famous “but” follows the sentence: “But, it is the locals who are arming themselves.”

The Future MP believes that the security situation is relatively calm now. However, “if the Syrian regime decides to escalate, there will be clashes in several areas.” He confirms: “Hezbollah will not be a party in the flare up, because this will not benefit it or Syria in any way.” He adds: “This time,
Hezbollah will not carry out whatever Syria dictates, because it in no way benefits from an operation like that of May 7.” However, the “but” makes a comeback: “But Hezbollah might carry out a military operation against Israel and sell it to the Iranians, particularly during this period of negotiations with the United States over Iran’s nuclear capacity.” As for Hezbollah’s role in the next phase, he says: “All that Hezbollah will do for the Syrians is to supply the supporters of the regime with ammunition if they need it, but for Hezbollah to carry out a military operation in Lebanon is out of the question.”

As for the Syrian crisis, he says: “President Assad will be a model unto himself. He has the Yemeni, Tunisian and Egyptian models, but he will be the Syrian model, a new model.” As for his vision for this model, it is “that the Syrian president will fight until the last Alawite Syrian.”

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

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