Sedition Looms Over Lebanon

  • 21 September 2010

Lebanon is once again facing the ghost of sedition as the situation inside the country is deteriorating to the extent that matters are beginning to look like the pre-2008 Doha Agreement days. There are explicit evidences to suggest that some powers in the country are challenging the lawmaking and other government institutions. The political discourse contains worrying vocabulary and there has been an exchange of direct and implied threats amidst growing talk of sedition that can lead to complications for the Lebanese political and security scenario. All this gives a sense of the lurking danger not because it has ended the brief period of calm among the different political parties but because the events indicate that matters are probably being pushed into the path of confrontation.

The issue of false witnesses in the investigation involving the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Al Hariri has been raised in recent times and has also caused considerable tension. The breakdown of truce was expected and was waiting to happen as the dangerous dispute was simmering under the surface with no solution in sight. That is one of the many complex issues that have been left without any real effort to deal with them under a national framework. Lebanon needs a true and honest national dialogue where even complex and sensitive disputes can be openly discussed. The country must abandon the policy of underplaying its problems and ignoring them because such a policy has proved to be a failure in the past and Lebanon has only had temporary periods of calmness. The issue of false witnesses, which created furor among political parties, is only the tip of the iceberg. That is why the country should courageously deal with the future as this is the only way its political and social experiment will work and its multi-religious and multi-ethnic society will remain secure and stable.

When there are numerous conflicts in a community without much of an engagement, the situation becomes susceptible to aggravation even for mundane reasons. The same situation exists in Lebanon. It is therefore the responsibility of the political and religious parties in the country to make the community immune and to enable it to deal with disputes of all kinds. The challenges facing Lebanese forces have the potential to draw the country to a critical situation that goes beyond the political conflict to the one related to security. There is no doubt that the responsibility to prevent matters from reaching this stage belongs to all those who are inside Lebanon with no exception.