Category Archives: Lebanon & Syria

Lebanon’s Government and the Assault on the Country’s Remaining Independent Institutions

 Commentary by Tamer Mallat – 27 June 2012


Much has been written in recent weeks concerning the spike in violence and criminality  in Lebanon since the start of the new year, and yet, most accounts have gone to great length to avoid pinpointing blame on one faction or another. The recent attempts to jump-start a new round of national reconciliation sessions, known as Lebanon’s infamous “National Dialogue”, has increased pressure on the belligerents of this seemingly cursed country to tone down their rhetoric. Worse, it has become symptomatic for different factions, neutral and partisan alike, to downplay the severity of recent calamities, all in the name of National Dialogue and illusionary stability. However, the majority of those represented in Lebanon’s executive arm of government are to blame for the deterioration of the ailing country’s situation. Continue reading

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The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Justice Starts Somewhere…

Commentary by John Simon – 6 May 2012

A culture of impunity has suffocated the Lebanese political system since its inception. Since the assassination of the country’s first Prime Minister, Riad al-Solh, in 1951, Lebanon has witnessed countless political assassinations, a violent civil war that claimed the lives of tens of thousands, and countless other internal and external conflicts. And yet, there has been no justice for the bereaved or accountability for the transgressors. In fact, Lebanon has yet to undergo any real process of reconciliation, leaving it in a climate of perpetual instability. The current status quo is unacceptable and deprives many Lebanese of any hope of normality; justice must begin somewhere. Continue reading

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Human Rights and Syria: An Original Position for the Gulf?

Commentary by Riccardo Dugulin – 26 March 2012


On February 29, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted by an overwhelming majority a resolution condemning the flagrant violations of human rights in Syria. Regardless of the fact that the HRC cannot generate legally binding resolutions, the move of the council must be read as a major step forward in the international push to limit Bashar al-Assad’s ability to further wage war on his own population. Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been instrumental in drafting and garnering support for the resolution. The Syrian crisis represents the first event in Middle Eastern recent history in which local Arab powers, along with Turkey, openly take a position and lead the way in denouncing crimes committed by an Arab government against its own population through a UN resolution. Continue reading

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عام على الثّورة

بقلم أسامة حريري – ١٥ آذار ٢٠١٢

لربّما جفّت الأقلام من كثر المقالات التي كُتبت عن الثورة السوريّة  و لربّما جفّت أيضاّ العيون من كثرة الدّموع التي ذُرِفت علما أنّ الدّموع لا تنفع. عام مضى على بدء الثورة في سوريا وما زال المدنييون العُزّل يُقتلون يوميا ويشرّدون ويعذّبون تحت أعين العالم أجمع. إلى أين نحن ذاهبون إذا في مسلسل القتل هذا ؟ أي متى ستدرك الدوّل الكُبرى أنّه قد آن الأوان لنسيان الجيوسياسية وموازين القوى والبدء بالتفكير بشكل إنساني ؟! لو كانت المشاكل تُحلّ بالشّجب والتّنديد ، لكانت سوريا اليوم تعيش بسلام من دون الطّاغية الذي ما زال قابعا في قصره في دمشق. ماذا ينتظر الثورة السوريّة بعد عام على بدئها ؟ الى أين ستؤدّي سياسة تضييع الوقت والتخبّط التي يتّبعها المجتمع الدولي ؟ Continue reading

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Hezbollah: From Lethal Politics to Political Suicide

Commentary by Oussama Hariri – 1 March 2012

This article was first published in Arabic.


In a recent speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah, reasserted his party’s support to the Syrian regime. Among his rather far-fetched statements was the blunt denial of what is happening in Homs, describing the city’s massacres merely as exaggerated events. While the people of Homs face a brutal ordeal, Hezbollah is far from changing its political course. Successful policy is based on adapting to changing times and the emergence of new political players. While change has swept across the political scene in the Arab world with new powers rising and others declining, one cannot help but wonder where Hezbollah’s policy, the fierce defense of a doomed regime, will lead it; all this in the context of the changing prospects of regimes across the Arab world. Continue reading

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حزب الله : عن السياسات القاتلة

 بقلم أسامة حريري – ١٤ شباط ٢٠١٢


منذ بضعة أيّام قام الأمين العام لحزب الله حسن نصرالله بإلقاء خطاب أكّد فيه من جديد دعم حزبه للنّظام السوري. وجاء في الكلمة التي أُلقيت تصريحات بعيدة عن الواقع أتى فيها نفي ما يحدث في حمص من مجازر على أنّها أحداث متفرّقة مبالغ في أمرها. ففي الوقت الذي يُقتل فيه أهالي حمص بالمئات ما زال حزب الله لم يغير أجندته السياسية علما  أنّ السياسات الناجحة هي تلك التي تعتمد على التغيير و التّأقلم  مع مرور الوقت وظهور لاعبين جدد على السّاحة وقد بدأ التغيير يظهر في العالم العربي مع صعود قوى جديدة وهبوط أخرى. فإلى أين تؤدّي هذه السياسة التي ينتهجها الحزب ( الإستماتة في الدفاع عن نظام يحتضر ) في خضم ما يحدث في العالم العربي من سقوط أنظمة وقيام أخرى ؟   Continue reading


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Tangible Support for the Syrian Opposition: An Alternative to a Risky Intervention in Syria

By Riccardo Dugulin – 11 February 2012

Source: (Sezayi Erken/AFP/Getty Images)

The specter of a civil war is looming over the Syria as the rift between the government, along with its supporters, and the anti-Assad demonstrators is beyond repair. The death toll of the regime’s ruthless crackdown on the uprising is enormous, with conservative figures placing the number of deaths at 6500. Continue reading

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