A founding pillar of Lebanon, or at least the Lebanese like to promote, is its people’s ability to act as a bridge between East and West and to retain excellent relationships with their Arab surroundings.
This, however, is a thing of the past as successive Lebanese government actions and policies saw Lebanon drift and finally falls prey to the Iranian sphere of influence thus alienating Lebanon from its Arab surroundings.
Luckily enough, Lebanon’s full alienation was stalled when PM Saad Hariri revoked his resignation and declared the Lebanese state, including President Michel Aoun Hezbollah’s main Christian ally, would pledge to a policy of disassociation vis-a-vis the ongoing regional schism.
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Recently however this so-called disassociation policy proved to be a mirage much similar to Aoun insistence that his Faustian deal with Iran and the Assad regime and his peddling of Iran’s agenda is in Lebanon’s national interest.
Over the weekend, al-Manar TV, Hezbollah’s mouthpiece, provided a so-called political commentator who prides himself to be a supporter of Assad and Iran, with a platform to insult the Prince of Kuwait accusing him of succumbing to pressures from US President Donald Trump on his recent trip to the White House.
According to this scoffer commentator – who barely speaks a word of English – the Emir was ordered to revoke an 11 billion oil contract with China and sign with American oil companies in its stead.
The so-called disassociation policy proved to be a mirage much similar to Aoun insistence that his Faustian deal with Iran and the Assad regime and his peddling of Iran’s agenda is in Lebanon’s national interestMakram Rabah
Almost immediately the Lebanese President, PM and Speaker scrambled to contain the aftermath of such an unprovoked and mindless transgression against Kuwait and its sovereign, issuing what amounted to an apology and underscoring the fraternal bonds which exist between the two nations.
Yet the crux of this predicament goes beyond a simple PR fiasco on the part of a number of hired guns who are allowed to go on various media outlets and parade as journalists spreading their misinformation and above all their hate.
Genuinely It further reveals how the Lebanese state and its political elite are mere hostages to Hezbollah who simply do not heed any of the country’s interest and are willing to expose the country and its economic security merely to serves Iran’s interests.
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Ironically, the Emir of Kuwait has always publically stood firm in his support of Hezbollah, but he also called upon the other Arab nations to extend their hand in friendship to both Qatar and Iran and thus ending the current state of affairs.
Rather than earning him the friendship of Hezbollah and Iran, Hezbollah abused the Emir’s good graces and in 2015 setup, Kuwaiti Shiite sleeper cells back to be used to disrupt the country’s stability when needed.
Al-Manar recent attack and its subsequent backlash were construed by the state and the friends of Kuwait as merely an act by a senseless individual who overstepped his boundaries, a deed which would be swept away with the usual rebuke and futile judicial action.
Yet this premeditated verbal crime is neither petty nor easy to dismiss because the scoffer is merely a tool Hezbollah used to attack the Emir and other Arab countries who refuse to succumb to Iranian bullying and to.
Above all it is the collective responsibility of all the ruling elite who have nurtured this breed of bards and scoffers who they host at their dinner tables and give instructions and information thus making them Weapons of Mass Deception.
This unfortunate incident will certainly not be the last as the Lebanese will have to further suffer from the continued transgressions of Hezbollah and its Lebanese allies who will stop at nothing to ensure that the noose of economic sanctions over Iran are relaxed even if it means destroying what remains of Lebanon and its feeble economy.
Makram Rabah is a lecturer at the American University of Beirut, Department of History. He is the author of A Campus at War: Student Politics at the American University of Beirut, 1967-1975. He tweets @makramrabah.