On May 7, and after the longest ministerial session in Lebanon’s history, the government took the descision to remove head of airport security, Brigadier General Wafiq Shuqayr, from his position and to declare Hizballah’s communications network “illegal and constitutional.” Considering this a declaration of war, Hizballah led several of the opposition parties in a strategic military action meant to pressure the government to backtrack, cutting off the capital and placing it under the military control of the opposition.

As the death toll rises and the clashes now spread to the north and the mountains, the outcome remains uncertain. Throughout these events, the usual stream of words continues, with accusations and counter accusations, speeches and counter speeches, interviews and counter interviews. The avid news reader in Lebanon is by now used to the illogical logic of the sectarian nation that refuses to see itself for what it is. Following are a few snapshots from its most eloquent orators.


In his press conference on May 8, Hassan Nasrallah defended the military actions of the party and its allies in the streets of Beirut saying:

We have not used and will not use weapons inside [Lebanon]… But weapons will be used to defend weapons against anyone.

نحن لم نستخدم ولن نستخدم السلاح في الداخل… ولكن السلاح سيُستخدم للدفاع عن السلاح في وجه اي كان

In other words, the offense was in self defense. It is true, the longer the conflict lasts, the more you resemble your most bitter of enemies. And I am not referring to the pro-government coalition.


After the Ma`rab meeting of May 9, Samir Geagea, who is fond of rewriting history, sent a salute to Walid Jumblat “who resisted the Syrians for 28 years.” He further elaborated on this new version of history by recalling the siege of Beirut in 1982:

Beirut did not fall under Israeli invasion, and it will not fall today.

So, while Jumblat was resisting the Syrians for 28 years, Geagea was defending Beirut from the Israelis. But of course, we all knew that.


If Geagea is the nation’s historian, Walid Jumblat is the hypnotist. Yesterday he expressed bewilderment at Hizballah’s overblown reaction to the government’s decision to “transfer” an officer. Only last week, the same Jumblat was whipping up fears of a major operation at the airport and linking it to Hizballah’s infiltration of airport security. His bewilderment did not extend far enough, however, to suggest that the decision be backtracked. It is, according to him after all, only a transfer.