https://thearabweekly.com-France has accepted Iranian dominion in Lebanon while the US has no interest in the country.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati (C) holds a meeting at the Grand Serail in Beirut, on September 30, 2021. (AFP)
One wonders if things could be any better for Lebanon in view of the complex regional situation and the absence of any international or Arab desire to help the crisis-gripped Arab country. Most important of all, there is no desire on the part of the Lebanese people to help themselves, before others can help them.
Najib Mikati’s government was formed so as to reflect an internal, regional and international reality that cannot be evaded. This reality consists in the complete intermeshing of the Lebanese state and its institutions, on the one hand, with Hezbollah, which is nothing but a brigade in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, on the other. This is what France has admitted and acquiesced to through its president, Emmanuel Macron, who played an important role in facilitating the formation of a Lebanese government after a 13-month wait.
The current Lebanese government has nothing to do with the original initiative of the French president, which he launched during his two consecutive visits to Beirut in August and September 2020, after the port blast.
In addition, there is no US interest in Lebanon under the Joe Biden administration. Washington proves every day that its foreign policy is of the laughable type. It is an administration that does not know what Iran is and what its proxies in the region are all about. It wants to limit Tehran’s ambitions, on the one hand and appease it on the other. The reality of the Biden administration was tested by two major events, the first was the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the other was its obstruction of the French submarine deal with Australia. The current US administration says one thing and does another. It wants to restore the American-European alliance but does not find enough time to reach an understanding with France before entering into an Anglo-Saxon alliance with Australia and Britain under the pretext of confronting China.
There is no American policy towards Iran nor towards Iraq and Syria. Washington does not even want to acknowledge the Houthi threat in Yemen and the presence of an entity revolving in the Iranian orbit in the Arabian Peninsula. Why, then, can we expect an American policy towards Lebanon, whose president, Michel Aoun, was the only candidate of Hezbollah for the presidency?
It is natural to leave Lebanon to its fate in the hands of a government that was the end product of “Hezbollah”, although Najib Mikati has sought and will continue to strive to save what can be saved in light of what he knows about the internal, Arab and international situation.
Little can be expected from the new Lebanese government which is preparing for general elections that cannot produce a better parliament than the current one, for at least two reasons. The first is the electoral law that Hezbollah fashioned to meet its conditions. As for the other , it lies in the inability of anyone to form a national resistance front that could peacefully stand in the face of illegal weapons in the hands of the sectarian militia called “Hezbollah.”
With or without elections, the majority in the parliament will remain an Iranian majority, as described once by Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Soleimani coined the phrase shortly after the May 2018 elections that produced the current parliament.
In the end, Lebanon is the country of its president, Michel Aoun and it is ruled by Hezbollah. This is the reality that no one is able to change. The assassination of the Lebanese thinker and political activist Lukman Slim on February 4, while visiting friends in southern Lebanon, was a test for the Joe Biden administration. The US administration did not lift a finger after the silencing of Slim, an expert close to American research institutions in Lebanon. This act whetted Hezbollah’s appetite for more control of the Lebanese decision making process in the absence of any objection, even verbal, to its actions.
France has completely acquiesced to the Iranian majority in the Lebanese parliament, especially after it became clear that talking about European or French sanctions against Lebanese politicians was just empty talk.
In the light of all these impediments in Lebanon and the presence of ministers in the government, who are among the worst sycophants of the Syrian regime, the question is: can Najib Mikati make a difference?
The remaining 13 months of Aoun’s term in office will be difficult months, especially since the only concern of the president is to ensure the succession of Aoun by Gibran Bassil as Hezbollah seeks to establish an irreversible reality on the ground. This will mean that Najib Mikati’s margin of manoeuvre will be quite tight to the point that no one knows if despite all his ingenuity, he can make a difference.
Written By Khairallah Khairallah
Khairallah Khairallah is a Lebanese writer.