Lebanon’s Economic Crisis and Hizbullah’s Political Prudence

Crescent International

Safar 22, 1441 2019-10-21

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

Not all elections and popular uprisings are equal. France’s reign of terror in 1793 was a form of popular uprising against the old system. It brought nothing but terror. Adolf Hitler was elected to power; those elections ushered the Second World War.

In recent history, we have seen that the “revolution” in Syria was nothing more than an imperialist project manipulated to secure NATO and Israel’s strategic regional interests.

Under secularism, the primary legitimacy of the system comes from the people, making the fundamental basis of the state quite unstable.

People swing from one policy and ideology to another.

Under an Islamic system, people are part of the legitimacy framework but they are not the main pillar.

Governance is a two-way street. The governors and the governed both have rights and responsibilities over one another.

The recent mass demonstrations in Lebanon against economic hardships, corruption and the Western designed sectarian system of governance are completely understandable.

The Western media and other Western institutions’ hype about the protests points to a plot to manipulate genuine grievances to advance the imperialists’ illegitimate interests.

The sectarian system the corporate media continues to focus on is not of Lebanon’s making. It was French colonialists that imposed the confessional system in 1936 before leaving.

The West’s focus on current demonstrations in Lebanon intensified after Hizbullah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah declared that while people’s demands are completely legitimate, toppling the government would not solve any problems.

Both Lebanese secularists and Western political analysts accept this reality.

Sayed Nasrallah’s statements were immediately misinterpreted by the Western media and presented as Hizbullah’s anti-people position.

This was done despite the fact that in his speech, Sayed Nasrallah accepted his own responsibility as a political leader for what is happening.

He demanded that all political groups focus on people, rather than their narrow clan-based interests.

Below we present a summary of some of the key points in Sayed Nasrallah’s speech of October 19, 2019. This was put together by a prominent Beirut based Syrian journalist, Laith Marouf.

  • We must all be held responsible including me... even though we are only a small part of the government... I accept my responsibility.
  • To force financial solutions that are against the will of the people is to purposefully work towards the explosion of public anger.
  • The people can’t carry this weight, the majority are working class; the rich politicians will not be affected by these new taxes.
  • When they say they are fixing the problem, they mean more taxes and more fees, less services and lower salaries.
  • What is required is for the politicians to come and say to the people: here is how we taxed this company; here is how we cut corruption.
  • Sure we all have to sacrifice, but to come to the masses and ask them to sacrifice while everyday they hear about another scandal that is not addressed, you are calling for an uprising.
  • My advice to the demonstrators: you are calling for us to join; we heard your requests on air. If Hizbullah were to join you, they would turn this into a political battle. They would allege that Iran is behind this. Your strength is that you are not associated with us.
  • Be careful about the parties in power who will ride you, who will call for their members to join you, this will divert your movement from being independent and will be politicized in the wrong way.

A typical politician would have immediately attempted to ride the popular wave of protests. Nasrallah is not a typical politician and the movement he leads is not a textbook political party set-up to grab as much power as possible.

It is a movement that operates outside the secular notion of what politics is and ought to be.

Hizbullah’s rejection to jump on the bandwagon with a popular unrest demonstrates the Islamic movement’s prudence and commitment to principles rather than narrow interests.

The declaration of Sayed Nasrallah immediately triggered a reaction from the Saudi regime that appears to have ordered one of its proxies in Lebanon (the Lebanese Forces Party), led by Samir Geagea to spring into action.

It would not come as a surprise if Israel, NATO and the Saudi regime try to utilize these mass protests in order to create a political crisis in Lebanon.

It is the home-base of the only Islamic movement which defeated Israel. Thus, the Zionist regime and its backers will not sit idle without attempting to exploit the protests for their own nefarious agenda.

END

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