(photo caption: Hezbollah pro-Iran militia invaded the Lebanese capital on May 7, 2008)
First – On the issue of Hezbollah’s weapons
A – Request Iran to withdraw its arms from Lebanon, secure Arab and international support for this demand, and exert Arab and international pressure on Iran to withdraw its arms- including, if need be, a request to friendly nations to raise the issue at the U.N. Security Council.
B- Hezbollah’s weapons are not weapons acquired for liberating the land. The pretext of the Shebaa Farms does not stand any more: twenty years after the Israeli unilateral withdrawal (from Lebanon), not a single meter has been liberated from the Shebaa Farms. Even the recent agreement to negotiate the demarcation of sea and land borders (with Israel) has left the Shebaa Farms to UN. Resolution 242, which refers to negotiations between Syria and Israel exclusively.
C- Hezbollah’s weapons are not a force of deterrance (against Israel) and do not achieve a balance of deterrence. Yet, if they were yielded to the Lebanese army, that is to legitimate authorities, then they would become part of a legitimate deterrent force. keeping Hezbollah’s weapons outside legitimate state institutions, makes them a force designed to drag Lebanon into devastating wars according to Iranian (not Lebanese) interests, as happened in the 2006 war and as happened when those weapon were used to fight against the Syrian people’s demands for freedom and dignity. Hezbollah’s weapons are also part of an epicenter of terrorism that threatens the entire region from Yemen to all of the Gulf countries, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The entire region is threatened by terrorist operations designed to subjugate these countries and their peoples to the will of the Iranian Supreme Guide.
D – Hezbollah’s weapons have been used inside Lebanon more than once
– The segment of the Shiite public that supports Hezbollah as an armed militia must be addressed through several channels:
First – through highlighting (the founder of Amal Movement’s) Imam Musa al-Sadr’s project, which focused on Lebanon as an ultimate homeland and on the principle of coexistence (of various communities). This is the opposite of what Hezbollah weapons and the Iranian project stand for, meaning the Persian Crescent Project that destroys homelands and states as a prelude to annexation. The Iranian regime’s control of the so-called « Shiite Duo », (term used to refer to the alliance of Hezbollah and theAmal Movement) undermines Sadr’s original ideas. Therefore, it is important to re-focus on Imam Sadr’s project.
Second – We should demonstrate that militia weapons never protected anyone, and that all militia projects had fallen into the trap of the civil war. The weapon of bullying leads its supporters, in the end, to submit to catastrophic reactions. The protection and guarantee for all citiezens is coexistence, the Lebanese Constitution and state institutions.
Third – The third channel to address this audience is an ideological channel, for the ideology of “Velayat-e faqih” (Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist) is not part of Shiite beliefs, rather it is alien to their Shiite beliefs in Lebanon and elsewhere.
We should strive to establish various types of forums with the participation of enlightened Shiite clerics and of the new generation of activists in intellectual and public affairs. Such forums should be able to explain the extent of harm and destruction that the theory and the system of the Velayat-e faqih (Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist) inflicts on Islam as a religion but more on the Shiite history which had always been distinguished by its stance against the tyranny and the rule of one man and against the deification or worship of persons.
It is important that Shiite elites, led by the enlightened clerics, are able to confront the Guardianship of the Jurist (Velayat-e faqih) principle and to assert the nation’s guardianship over itself. That is, the establishment of democratic regimes that genuinely express their peoples’ desires and which put an end to the crimes and wars that were produced by the rule and tyranny of one individual over the fate of the peoples of the region and over its riches.
* Paper read by Muhammad Abdel Hamid Baydoun, a former Lebanese member of parliament and government minister. Mr. Baydioun had been one of the leaders of the Amal Movement until his exclusion from Amal in 2003. As such, he was one of many prominent Shiite personalities that took part in a congress convenend in Beirut, last tuesday, October 27th, under the title of A National Initiative for a Joint Interim Program to Save Lebanon. The idea of the congress was presented by the Lady of the Mountain Grouping (the name only refers to the grouping’s first meeting in a monastery in Mont Liban) led by former MP, Dr. Fares Souhaid.