When a nation is faced with open rebellion by at least a third of its people it has three basic choices; reach a settlement, quell the rebellion, or let go of the rebel territory. You can do this in war, or in peace, then live one more day hoping that you may be able to reunite the nation in the future if the people are willing .
In Lebanon today, Hezbollah dominates the Shiites constituency, or one third of the Lebanese people. It has erected its own state within our Lebanese state. It possesses its own more powerful army -with 30,000 missiles- which Israel failed to defeat, and many may be aimed at us. It conducts its own foreign policy and launches wars for which we must incur the cost without asking our opinion. It provides its own social services including education, health care, and financial assistance to its selective constituency while collecting central subsidies (protection money), paid by us.
It receives billions of dollars in foreign aid (from Iran/Syria) directly bypassing the Lebanese State legal and financial system. It conducts its own economic policy, manages its own business zones/entities, and has a gigantic land purchase program underway massively funded by Iran's oil dollars. Hezbollah has even built a complete infrastructure and has connected the areas under its control with its own road and telecommunication network totally independent of the Lebanese state network system.
Since the world powers seem unwilling to deal firmly with Hezbollah's patrons Syria and Iran, then Mr. Walid Jumblatt, a hero of the second Lebanese independence, is correct in stating that President Bush's verbal support to the Cedars Revolution "is not a currency that can be spent on the land of reality". In other words, March 14 cannot fully rely on the US, and is unwilling and unable to confront Hezbollah with forceful methods.
So going back to the choices a nation in rebellion has; we must re-assess, and confirm that since we are unable to reach an agreement with Hezbollah, and since we are unable and unwilling to defeat it militarily, we are therefore logically left with the third alternative, which is to part with it through partition. This solution will make hundreds of thousands of Hezbollah supporters happy for they would have achieved their Islamic Republic, their life aspirations.
It would also make the rest of the Lebanese happy, for we could then move forward with our own identity and future, formally detached from the Axis of Evil and sheltered from Israel's massive retaliations which remain a very real danger.
The Lebanese must understand that insisting on the 10452 klm2 Lebanon means assuming responsibility for it. We cannot complain again if Hezbollah launches another war and Israel retaliates massively again, there will not be a Paris 4 to help us in such case. The world powers must help Lebanon achieve a peaceful transition into two states, just as it has done in former Yugoslavia. It is good to pacify a portion of the disputed land, if you cannot pacify the whole.
One third of the people equitably means, 1/3 of the land, 1/3 of the Foreign Currency reserves in the central bank, 1/3 of the National debt. All army individuals would have the freedom to join either states. The two states should then maintain friendly and civilized relations due to family and land ties that may overlap the new borders. In some cases disconnected areas may be joined to their respective states via underground tunnel highways or train systems, such cross points could be easily engineered, but it would be nicest if we could travel over ground in the county of Mountains.
We Lebanese are creative enough to find solutions but we must avoid bloodshed at all cost. We should never wage war ever again on our own soil. Let us disagree and part in peace and continue to cooperate even after saying good bye. Let us peacefully create two new states out of the old and defunct one. Each answering to the national aspirations of its people. A Shiite Islamic Lebanese Republic named as such, and a Secular Democratic and Multi-Ethnic Free Lebanon state, grouping the Independence-oriented constituencies; the Druze, Sunnis, and Christians.
In Part 2 of this article, we will presents policy proposals for the new Free Lebanon state in a variety of areas including foreign policy, defense, economic, political parties/state reform, social, cultural, and human resources care policies.
A Golden Age is within our reach! All people deserve reaching their Promised Land.