22 May 2008

The Doha agreement

Dear readers,

Like all Lebanese crisis before, the latest Beirut coup by Hizbollah has been put into a text by the Doha agreement. The reaction in the various media have been mixed, Western media (and pro-governmental Lebanese ones) underlining the failure of Lebanon and of the Lebanese Army to contain the violent assault of a sectarian armed militia against the majority of its fellow citizens. Other media (basically the ones in Teheran or their allies such as Al Manar TV) claim victory. So imagine my surprise when I read the editorial from Le Monde, French newspaper supposed to be balanced and rather pro-Arab: the article basically congratulates the Arab League members for having found a positive "solution", though a temporary one, to the Lebanese crisis. It goes as far as lauding the role of Qatar's representative who would have used to good his friendly links with Iran.

This is, excuse my French, utter bullshit. Qatar's role was certainly one of a host and must be indeed signalled. But I fail to see in which way this is a success for the Arab League. I fail to see how this would be a positive thing, even less a solution of any kind. The Doha agreement simply freezes a situation obtained by violence against the rule of law or even simple dialogue. It is a good thing, admittedly, that the various Lebanese factions reach some agreement (any agreement) through an exchange of words rather than the exchange of bullets we had been used to in the latest weeks. But in this case, the victory is all on Hizbullah's side. It got everything that it had asked: a veto right in the government (despite the fact that it does not reflects its parliamentary representation), its secret communication system and its control over Beirut airport traffic. In exchange, it does not give anything to the representation of the majority of Lebanese. To save face, the immediate election of Michel Suleiman as President is presented as a concession to the government (through a "temporary modification to the Constitution" which normally forbids the Chief of the Army to take the Presidency). But in fact this very point had always been accepted by Hizbullah (for the simple reason that Suleiman is, like Nasrallah himself, one of Syria's assets in Lebanon). The same is said of the application of the electoral law as is (1960 version), the only demand of Hizbullah that hasn't been accepted.

Let's face it, Doha is just a lesser evil to avoid another catastrophe in Lebanon. But it is not an Arab League success, it is a slap in the face of all Arabs by Iranian proxies. And it is another show of impotence for both French diplomacy (Kouchner proved once more that one can be a great humanitarian worker and an extremely lousy Foreign Minister) and for the French press. Before writing a paper, damn it, try to check your facts first!

1 comment:

Solomon2 said...

I'm pressed for time, but I've answered at least one of your comments at my blog in my latest post.