Friday, July 14, 2006

Prelude to War!

I have long come to believe that the cause of national liberation and independence, upon which we were raised and never weaned, has served more as an instrument for our continued enslavement by the ruling regimes than anything else. Indeed, the national discourse and the constant calls for mobilization against a declared enemy were at best a diversionary measure meant to postpone any serious consideration of our developmental problems and our ruling regimes’ corruption and inherent authoritarian predilections.

For this reason, I never really believed in the conflict against Israel, except when it came to the Palestinians and their internal leadership. For the PLO and other Palestinian groups have, since the very beginning almost, been more an instrument wielded by various Arab governments to further their own agendas than true representatives of the Palestinian people. In time, the various leaders, too, ended up developing their own private agendas and interests, and corruption became the main rule of the game. Naturally, the Palestinian Diaspora paid heavily for this state of affairs. The First Intifadah could have paved the way for something much better than what Palestinians ended up getting, had the leadership of it remained in the hands of internal figures, and did not pass squarely and virtually unchallenged into the hands of Arafat. Arafat should not have become more than a figurehead.

Be that as it may, the issue ahead of us if that of Hezbollah and Hamas being wielded as instruments of provocation by Syria and Iran to stir up another national liberation conflict and mobilize us all for the march to hell, with many of us applauding all the way. In this regard, the Assads’ success in imposing this new round of conflict upon us all is going to doom us all. I have, up until this moment, entertained some hope that we can somehow save Syria the kind of mayhem we are witnessing in Iraq, I can now see that this may no longer possible.

The Assads are intent on having a replay of the 80s, the different geopolitical context notwithstanding and despite the fact that they survived that period only through a series of unfortunate miracles. Well, they will soon find out that they have learned nothing from those forgone lessons of that “miraculous epoch”, while the Israelis, I bet, have learned a lot, tactically at least.

All wishful thinking aside, I just don’t think that Israel is going to lose this round, and I think that the going-ons in Lebanon are only a prelude for the eventual and now inevitable confrontation with Syria, with all sorts of disastrous implications and consequences for our people.

Some people see this differently I know, they see that the Assads and Mullahs have emerged as serious contenders in the arena once again, and that they have embarrassed the US and Israel. I kindly disagree. But, be that as it may, the winner of this round notwithstanding, we, the people, are the ones who will get screwed.