Across the Bay

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Nationalism of Idiots

Once again Hazem Saghieh pens a superb piece (original Arabic here) slamming the insufferable insanity of Michel Aoun and his movement.

It's a really sharp, harsh piece, that nails the issue perfectly. After his piece the other day, which jabbed at Hezbollah (as well as Aoun), Saghieh came back blazing at Aoun.

The focus on Hezbollah, and its suspected complicity in the assassinations, has been evident in Lebanon since the attempt on Marwan Hamade, and then after the Tueni assassination, but has come out to the forefront with the Ghanem assassination when fingers were pointed at the airport security services, which are penetrated by Hezbollah.

Most striking were Jumblat's statements on Hezbollah in his weekly editorial yesterday. I will come back with a separate post and translate it for you. It's well worth the read.

He hit hard again today after the parliamentary session when he told reporters that, as he made clear in his editorial, he thinks "the accomplices who protect the Syrian and Iranian regimes are murderers, yes."

Jumblat accurately identified Hezbollah as a "company or brigade in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps" and slammed the formula enshrined by the Syrians, in direct coordination with their allies in Iran, when they colonized Lebanon, and especially after 2000.

The formula was referred to by Jumblat as the "duality theory," which postulated "coordination" between the state and Hezbollah, which would remain parallel to the state. I had explained this construct, and its roots in the Iranian model, specifically the IRGC, here.

But Saghieh also touched on a very important issue in his piece, and that is the dangerous, if petty, delusion that underpins Aounism:

As a comment on the political Lebanonization that overcame the Sunnis in Lebanon after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, the Aounists say that it's a passing event, because any transformation that happens in Syria to the benefit of the Sunnis will return Lebanese Sunnis to their old Arabism. This is an example of fortune-telling and it's inappropriate for him to call it a policy, especially since it includes transformations in the meaning of "Arabism" in its countries that have an impact on Lebanon. This is not to mention the fact that a Syrian transformation of this type might put the entire Mashreq before questions in which the positions of Lebanese sects become a passing detail. Meanwhile, the sane find it hard to believe that we can witness coexistence between this wariness about the Arabism to which the Sunnis of Lebanon "might" return, and an "understanding" that links the Aounists to an armed fundamentalist party like Hizbullah, which threatens the foundations of the political entity itself!

I had touched on this suicidal notion in my piece on Aoun in the Los Angeles Times, where I noted that the flip-side of this theory was long held by the Syrians' obedient lackey, Suleiman Frangieh: "Franjieh may envision a new alliance among Maronites, Shiites and the ruling Alawites in Syria."

This is one area of objective intersection between Aoun and the murderous sectarian Alawite family clique in Syria that makes him a rather useful, highly destructive, idiot for them and for Hezbollah (I've described Aoun's "understanding" with the latter as having little more value than toilet paper).

Needless to say, this is just suicidal lunacy (and the anti-Aoun Maronite vote in the Metn by-elections settled this, as observed at the time by Sateh Noureddine), or, to quote Saghieh, "a state of political idiocy that's rare to come across." But then again, this is precisely why Saghieh described Aounism as "the nationalism of idiots, a nationalism that prompts its followers to ally with the true danger to the country against false threats… to ally with the killer, against the killed."