Instead of trying to understand the background of the visit and the reality of the man himself, and the size of the influence and power of his country, we are preoccupied with interpretation and analysis, which is intended to end in the form that in Lebanon a strong change bloc represents the “silent majority” and is ready to take over the country, with or without elections …
It is a kind of humor. However, without speaking about our problem appearing to be a disregard for the current Lebanese position, it is necessary to repeat what must be said about the country’s need for an outside that would help address its political, security and economic crises. This in itself brings us back to square one, where the serious joke is, and where the fact that what is happening in the region has its first impact on the current type of our crises. Consequently, one should ask about the nature of the most influential regional and international powers in Lebanon.
During the last decade, some countries have not equaled an inch in their measuring instruments for the Lebanese crisis. It has not changed neither in its strategy, nor in its objectives, nor in its alliances, nor in its work programs, and the most prominent of these countries are Syria, Iran, Israel and Turkey. But other countries began to adjust their strategies. They are countries led by the United States of America and assisted by Britain, and the most prominent of which are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Note that we are still in the stage of measuring the new role of countries that have joined our arena and their increasingly effective role, such as Russia first and China second.
The axis led by the United States has entered the stage of reconsideration of many matters, as a result of the logical set-off conducted by its countries in light of what happened in the last decade. This does not mean that the world will change, but it is certain that major changes will occur in the rules of the game, and that countries like Lebanon will be greatly affected by these changes. Here the question becomes legitimate: How will the Lebanese deal with these changes, will they become more realistic and give up the pretentiousness, the acrobatics, the allegations and the bravado, and are there anyone among them who takes the responsibility for their actions in the past years, and takes the initiative to withdraw or reposition, or we – and this is more likely – we will be Ahead of a new chapter of arrogance and denial, which leaves its impact on the general climate of the country, and reduces the chances of Lebanon benefiting from the changes taking place around us.
A veteran diplomat who participates in international mediation says that the problem of quite a few Lebanese people is that they did not understand the nature of the change that took place in the last decade regarding the role of the middle and major countries. He explains how the plans of recent US administrations, especially with Donald Trump, pushed towards strengthening the role of countries with a large regional presence, and not to mortgage matters to the accounts of major countries. On the other hand, he explains that influence can be exercised by countries that do not necessarily have a great economic status, such as the major countries, and he gives the example of the historical Syrian role in Lebanon, which has always been more effective and more powerful even than the United States and Europe. This matter has been repeated in recent years with countries such as Turkey and Iran, and that Saudi Arabia itself has modified its policy and left the position of “relative neutrality” to approach “the position of the initiator” because it felt able to play a greater role, a role that less powerful countries have tried to practice in the arenas of the region. Like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, while countries of great size such as Egypt are far away.
If an approach is made to the current Lebanese situation, two elements can be ascertained in short, one related to the nature of the existing economic problem, as the ruling party in the two wings of power and the opposition want to resume a life of consumption, and most of what it wants is financing and new debts. Another element related to political complications and security and military tensions, especially after the Syrian crisis and what is happening in Iraq, and this means that the forces capable of exercising influence are the force that qualifies for this by virtue of their presence and role. All of this tells us that the Lebanese are forced to look around them, scrutinize the quality of the existing changes, and perform calculations according to sound mathematical formulas, even if the results are not appropriate for some of them.
There is no need to neglect the internal elements of the crisis, but it is necessary to try to find out what is going on around us: Where have the Iranian-American negotiations become? What are the results of the Iranian-Saudi communication tours? And what happened between Syria and each of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Emirates and Egypt? And what is Turkey planning on Syria as well? What about developments within the Islamic currents that have played the largest role in the last decade in Lebanon, Syria and the region?
Tomorrow: Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria