The international community has turned a blind eye to Iran’s domination of Lebanon. Pleas for help to rid this Arab country of an armed militia under Tehran’s orders have gone unheard, because world powers do not think this small Mediterranean country has sufficient strategic significance to warrant military involvement.
Now that Iran is being courted by the West, to the detriment of the Sunni Arab world and the regional balance of power, it is understandable that some political leaders within Lebanon's March 14 bloc have opted to reconcile with Hezbollah. Negotiations to nominate a new president that have been underway for 19 months resulted in stalemate because Hezbollah would not accept any candidate who was not sympathetic to its camp.
It is disappointing that Hezbollah’s long-time foe Samir Geagea, executive chairman of the Lebanese Forces, capitulated by backing Michel Aoun, an ally of Hezbollah and Syrian butcher Bashar al-Assad, for the presidency, while former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is now supporting pro-Assad figure Suleiman Franjieh.
This is a mistake. The day the Lebanese choose slavery and lose their will to take their country back will be a knife in the hearts of all those who love Lebanon, including myself. I do not wish to judge them unfairly. Both Geagea and Hariri are Lebanese patriots who would like nothing more than to see their country proud and free, but without tangible heavyweight assistance they have been fighting windmills.
In recent days, Hariri made a rare visit to Lebanon, where he held a rally to mark the anniversary of his father’s assassination. “We will not allow anyone to pull Lebanon to the camp of hostility towards Saudi Arabia and its Arab brothers,” he told the crowd. “Lebanon will not be, under any circumstances, an Iranian province. We are Arabs, and Arabs we shall remain.”
The Lebanese people should ready themselves for a better future free of Iranian influence. The chains dragging Lebanon down will be broken.Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor
However, the situation is no longer hopeless in light of an Arab reawakening in the face of threats to our very existence. My message to the good Lebanese people who resent being treated as Iran’s vassals is: “Do not give up, be optimistic and stay strong. You, the great Lebanese people who hold fast to your Arab roots and your culture, once a beacon of light for all of us, get ready to take your country back!
“You, the noble people of northern Lebanon who have proven your worth and shown courage, should be an inspiration to all others. And you, the people of Beirut, must stand tall against the followers of paid Iranian lackeys and those cowardly self-appointed leaders who have exchanged their principles for their comfortable chairs and the luxurious trappings that go with them.”