Monday, July 24, 2006

War Math!

Amidst the current chaos in Lebanon, an interesting episode occurs and brings back to mind some of the things that are at stake in this entire tragedy – a foiled prison break involving the four security officers imprisoned on suspicion of involvement in orchestrating the Hariri assassination. While we have no reason to believe the speculations in the report that the entire episode was orchestrated by Syrian intelligence, but, it does indeed stand to reason to believe that Syria would have been at least the preliminary destination of these figures. Their failure must have saved the Syrian regime some undesired attention at this stage. Still, we cannot but wonder as to the sort of other clandestine activities that are currently taken place in Lebanon, benefiting from the current state of affairs. War crimes come in different guises.

On a related note, and as reminder of the kind of mayhem that the continuing erosion of central authority in the country can produce, we have a report here that highlights the relevance of complicated social and sectarian cleavages in this matter. It speaks of growing poor Shia encroachments onto plush Sunni suburbs and of the growing fears of the chadorization of the local mores, or, of a clash of mores. In other words, this is a story of the Shia and the poor coming home to roost.

Indeed, should the current offensive last longer and conditions continue to deteriorate, there are enough contradictions lingering and growing within the Lebanese society to plunge it into another round of civil mayhem. Perhaps, there are those in the region who are betting on this, for the more bright the Lebanese implosion is the more relevant and central their role would be.

Indeed, War has its own rather hard and disquieting calculations. In this, dissidents like me are easily outgunned, out-sleazed, and all but completely out-done. As we sink deeper and deeper into the quagmire of war and mayhem, liberal dissidents simultaneously take an even deeper plunge into irrelevance. Hell, we are bound to become objects of disdain and hatred. We have always been preaching against the national and the social mores, so how could we not be fifth columnists and agents of the Zionists and the West?

But this developments does not come as a compelte surprise for me. I have always suspected that the best that we can achieve at this stage is to simply survive, though I had dared wish and work for more just in case my cynicism was not as amply justified as I thought. Anyway, the odds are just too high for inaction. So, and while surviving, we also have to keep an eye on the future. Indeed, some vision and some planning will go along way in this regard, for very few actors on the scene tend to have any vision at all, or any real long-term plans. We, the dissidents, the democrats, the heretics of our modern day and age, should strive to fill that void.


Tharwa Topic of the Week: Should the United States negotiate with Islamist groups?