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Arresting Ahmad al-Assir is a triumph for Lebanon

I don’t think there are any Lebanese people who don’t feel grateful for the arrest of fugitive radical leader Ahmad al-Assir

Nayla Tueni

Published: Updated:

I don’t think there are any Lebanese people who don’t feel grateful for the arrest of fugitive radical leader Ahmad al-Assir whose hands are stained with the blood of Lebanese soldiers and civilians. This is an achievement for the security services, a major state apparatus tasked with monitoring borders and maintaining security within. Objectively speaking, this is an achievement that’s equal to other great achievements fulfilled by other security and military institutions, particularly by the army intelligence, Internal Security Forces’ Information Branch and the State Security as all of the latter combated terrorism and exposed espionage networks operated by Israel. I am not naming these apparatuses here in order to clarify the political and abhorrent balances within our system – although frankly speaking, this is a realistic aspect of our Lebanese formula which does not spare military and security institutions and apparatuses from sectarian, partisan and political polarization. However, the reason I named them now is to say out loud that we take pride in these apparatuses when they prove that they only operate according to the state’s standards with protecting citizens’ security as a top priority.

It’s very important for our political rhetoric to be void of indecent criticism no matter how heated up political disputes are

Nayla Tueni

These achievements by the different security apparatuses must be categorized as actions aimed at solidifying the state’s immunity and institutions and they must be viewed as accomplishments for the entire Lebanese people and as an incentive to generalize justice and thus address other cases where wanted men whom everyone knows their whereabouts are brought to justice. I won’t go further with addressing the cases of victims whom some parties want their blood to go in vain in order to destroy the nationalistic and sovereign aims they were martyred for.

Political and patriotic

Another aspect of Assir’s arrest is both political and patriotic. We here commend leader Saad Hariri who has more than once shown he’s an avid and loyal supporter of the plan toward a legitimate and strong state of Lebanon. In 2013, Hariri provided political cover for the army’s operation in Sidon’s Abra against Assir. He later provided a similar cover for the security and military plan in Tripoli and this plan put an end to the rampant chaos there. He recently congratulated the general security establishment for its achievement of arresting Assir and thus proved his adherence to supporting security and military institutions. Hariri’s stances reflect the Future Movement’s adherence to moderation despite all provocative campaigns against it. I am not bringing this up due to favoring Hariri over others or to provoke a party that views itself as a rival of Hariri. I am bringing it up for purely patriotic purposes.

It’s very important for our political rhetoric to be void of indecent criticism no matter how heated up political disputes are. Let this be the basis to stop arguments. Keep in mind that no one in Lebanon wins if moderation collapses.

This article was first published in al-Nahar on August 20, 2015.

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Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni

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