The Lebanese identity is one of the most controversial and most contested issues in
Lebanon’s political and social life. Referring to Lebanon as an Arab country has always been
a major demand for Muslims Lebanese, in which the Christians Lebanese highly opposed.
Therefore, as a condition to ending the war and to accept any amending of the Lebanese
Constitution, Muslims demanded that the Taef Accord mentions that Lebanon must have
an “Arab face and identity.” Syria and many other Arab countries backed this demand.
However, if history taught us anything it taught us that nothing is constant in the Middle
East except Lebanon and its native inhabitants-the Christians. Therefore, predicting what
might happen to the Middle East after the US invasion of Iraq, it seems that Arabists are
not going to enjoy the Arab “mask” they imposed on Lebanon.
Observing the military movements and analyzing the political situation almost clearly shows
that there is going to be a change of maps, faces, and regimes in the region! This is
obvious due to the multiple objectives of the US war on terrorism. Some of these
objectives consist of, but not limited to:
-First-OIL-The US forces long term presence in Iraq will give the US control over the
second largest oil reserve, after Saudi Arabia, and will allow the US, not OPEC, to control
the oil prices which in turn will affect the global economy.
-Second-FUNDAMENTALISM-the US will end Muslim fundamentalism, which is threatening
world peace and undermining the security of the western world, especially the US, and
harming its economy. To achieve such aim, the US must destroy the sources and reasons
that cause and create fundamentalism. The reasons are clearly the non-democratic (royal)
and radical regimes that do not respect human rights, do not allow political opposition
groups, and or freedom of expression. The sources that create terrorist groups are the
Wahabi schools that preach hate and killing of the “infidels” and which are financed by
many Arab and Muslim states and individuals. Therefore, in order to eradicate such groups,
regime change in the Middle East is imperative. Moreover, Islam will have to readjust and
reinterpret the Qoran in order to fit in today’s society. No more preaching death to the
“infidels” or to the “Great Satan”-America. Islam will either be a religion of peace or be
condemned by the rest of the world.
-Third-NEW REGIMES-from its position on the borders of Iran, Syria, Kuwait, Turkey,
Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, the US will use its soldiers and intelligence in Iraq to alter or
topple these regimes. A new form of democratic federal system that protects minorities
and freedom of expression will be imposed in the region. The constitutions of the expected
new regimes will be very similar to the Lebanese one, but without Syria’s intervention and
meddling in its affairs. In other words, if we remove the Syrian factor, which disrupts the
implementation of the Lebanese Constitution and which twists laws and regulations to fit
its interests and style, the Lebanese system is the one which the US will be imposing on
the Middle East, including Syria, thus giving the Arabs a “Lebanese face.”
-Fourth-THE ECONOMY-after disarming these regimes, the US will turn the “harmless”
Middle East into a bazaar to sell its goods and products. It’s for this economic reason that
Germany, France, and Russia are opposing the US invasion of Iraq, not to forget the
closely related oil reason. The Europeans are worried about the US presence in the ME
because it is going to destroy their economy. The EU already tried to tie the Mediterranean
countries in a treaty to cut the road on the US, but failed partially due to the Arabs
hostility toward Israel and due to the Arab countries lack of organization.
-Fifth-NEW UN-the US might use the lack of support in the United Nation’s Security
Council to abolish the UN under the pretext of its irrelevance in today’s new world order.
The UN, which replaced the League of Nations that was created after WWI, was created
based on the US and USSR as superpowers which existed after WWII. Today, there is one
superpower and the UN will be shaped on that fact. This is another reason as to why the
Europeans are objecting to the US war and presence in the ME. In fact, the Europeans are
not objecting the war but its aftermath.
Accordingly, change will occur in Lebanon. Lebanon’s Constitution will be adopted in
various Arab countries, with probably some modifications to fit the demographic equations
of those countries. Syria will withdraw with humiliation. In one way or another, Hizbullah will
drop the idea of the Islamic Republic, which was established in 1983 by the Iranian
Revolutionary Guards. Other militias will be disarmed. The Iranian influence in Lebanon will
diminish. The terrorist face, which they masked Lebanon with for a decade will be washed
away and Lebanon will remain a symbol of peace, freedom, and enlightenment. Hence, the
Lebanese true face and identity will be restored.
Wishful thinking? Perhaps! The probability of becoming a reality? VERY HIGH!
Pierre A. Maroun
March 15, 2003