To Suleiman and Kahwaji: Do Something or Leave

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (

Al-Akhbar Management

The president is directly responsible for the deteriorating situation in the Bekaa. As long as he insists on siding with March 14. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah)

By: Ibrahim al-Amin

Published Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Future Movement’s incitement against Hezbollah would not have been anything out of the ordinary if it had not decided to turn it into a sectarian conflict. After the Syrian army regained control of Qusayr, Saad Hariri realized that more is required of him than simply building on Najib Mikati’s resignation.

March 14 – along with the Syrian opposition’s regional and international backers – seem to be in a sudden rush to draw Lebanon into the conflict raging next door by characterizing it as a Sunni-Shia conflict that transcends borders.

After having failed to ignite a sectarian war in Tripoli and the North – in addition to a reluctance to stir up trouble in Beirut and Saida – Future and its allies have turned to the northern Bekaa, which shares a long border with Syria, and where large numbers of opposition fighters are concentrated.

And despite the bloody events of the past week, the only reason the situation remains relatively quiet is due to Hezbollah preventing, and even suppressing, any possible reaction from among its supporters.

The other side pushes forward with its campaign of incitement, believing that Hezbollah will continue to exercise restraint. In addition, they can always lay blame for any incident on the Syrian militants that operate in the border area. That is not to say, however, that the Lebanese security forces do not know in detail the groups involved and who is funding and supporting them.

Given the political crisis in Lebanon, with both government and parliament in a state of paralysis, the only authorities left to keep the peace are President Michel Suleiman and Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces Jean Kahwaji. Therefore, it is necessary to say the following:

First, the president is directly responsible for the deteriorating situation in the Bekaa. As long as he insists on siding with March 14, then he has relinquished any responsibility for the country as a whole. If he continues to delay the deployment of the army to fulfill its duties in that area, then he is nothing but a partner in the crimes being committed there.

Second, the leadership of the armed forces knows well it does not need political cover to take control of the troubled areas along the border. The army has already paid dearly with its soldiers’ lives in that region. It must take immediate practical steps to deploy in the northern Bekaa or risk losing the confidence of a large part of the Lebanese population.

There is no room for excuses here. Suleiman and Kahwaji know that they are directly responsible. As long as they delay taking any action to contain the situation, then more and more people will be convinced that there is no longer any need for their services!

Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


To be honest has a non-Arab Sunni, I've pretty much had it with sectarians using Sunni Islam has a political tool to target others. If Hariri and Future Movement wants to stoke strife towards Shias, let them. The only thing that is going to happen is a repeat of Iraq.

Iraqi Insurgents during the US occupation got influenced by the sectarianism of jihadists mainly from the Gulf. To my everlasting disgust they attacked their fellow citizens in the name of Sunni Islam. So many Christians had to flee to Syria which thankfully kept treated their fellow Arabs better than Syrians are treated now. The Jihadists kept also attacked Shias but they were restrained by their clerics and political leaders. That is until the Shrine bombing. The level of reprisals the Sunnis faced was unprecentended. Entire districts got were literally socially cleansed and thousands of Sunnis faced a horrific fate at the hands of militants.

The cowards and the fools who provoked and entire community where useless. They couldn't even defend the people they endangered. The Americans had to come along, build giant walls and isolate the last remaining Sunni majority areas of Baghdad from the rest of Baghdad. The Sunni community eventually wised up and formed Sahwa groups to fight Al-Qaeda the cause of their misery.

It's the same thing with the Lebanon. Al-Nusra and other Jihadists are influencing Lebanese Sunnis. At the moment they're only sending rockets but if it doesn't stop they will one day go to far. Once that happens their entire community will suffer the retribution. Do they really think they can do to the Shias what they have been doing to Jabal Moshen?

It is time for Al-Akhbar to create an English language daily for the country and beyond to replace the Future; Hariri Jr-owned vanity Daily Star.

Lebanon's many foreign residents, as well, deserve a local and convenient source of news without having to tolerate and sift through partisan Orwellian newspeak. which does not fuel sectarianism and can serve the country well.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><img><h1><h2><h3><h4><h5><h6><blockquote><span><aside>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

^ Back to Top