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The western project for the East: parliamentary systems under protectorate

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Reproducing the exact pattern of the 1920s, the International Conference in support of the new Libya aims to establish a parliamentary democracy façade, under the control of colonial powers, and with the approval of the UN, successor to the League of Nations (Paris, 1 September 2011).

Arab affairs

Editorial: Parliamentary regimes under tutelage
What is happening in Libya is putting forward the real archetype of the political project carried by an Arab political faction and featuring a mixture of branches from the international Muslim Brotherhood organization, groups from the liberal bourgeoisie and some failed left wing blocs. This characterized the so-called Libyan opposition before the invasion of Tripoli and the Syrian opposition that is yearning to imitate it with a few minor differences reflecting numerous specificities and divergences that are not to be taken lightly. But what is happening in Libya is actually offering the content of the new political authority towards which the Arab societies are being led based on the idea of foreign intervention under the slogan of spreading democracy and getting rid of tyranny. In the Libyan case, there is an attempt to renew colonial hegemony over the country and its oil wealth in a new shape and based on the allocation of Western influence.
What has changed at the level of Western colonial hegemony over Libya is France’s entry as a key partner in the control over the oil resources, after the transitional council pledged to offer Paris one third of the share in exchange for the active French role in NATO’s war, both politically and militarily. In the meantime, the American, British and Italian presence will be sustained, while the marginal Russian and Chinese presence in the Libyan economic and oil relations network will be annulled as the remnant of the Cold War that should be eliminated, and not due to Beijing’s and Moscow’s positions towards NATO’s war as some are claiming.
As for the political project presented by the new ruling team under the umbrella of colonial hegemony, it is the establishment of a presidential and electoral parliamentary system under the headline of democracy, similar to the Arab parliamentary systems established in the 20s of last century under foreign tutelage. At the time, colonialism set a ceiling under which the political transition game through parliamentary elections and consecutive governments could take place.
On the political level, the new formula is not different from the latter under the banner of democracy, which will sponsor the division of power between groups that are mostly brought together by their loyalty to Western colonial hegemony, while the local governments will be subjected to the restraints and frameworks that will be set up for the reconstruction project following the destructive war that damaged the entire Libyan infrastructure.

News analysis

The Syrian Contra: terrorism and foreign interference
Last week’s events confirmed the Syrian street abstinence from responding to the calls for demonstrations and protests issued by the Syrian opposition movements. In the meantime, the foreign pressures on the Syrian national state reached unprecedented levels in terms of their political content, with the continuation of the threats to see foreign intervention amid consecutive leaks about the scenarios of military operations inside the Syrian territories, although, the obstacles facing such an adventure –whether by Turkey or NATO- are increasing.
- Firstly, the wager on the month of Ramadan which was promoted by the Syrian oppositionists has miserably failed. Indeed, the month of fasting was launched with the announcement by the opposition and the American studies and planning centers of the fact that Ramadan will witness the fall of the regime in Syria and the expansion of the rebellion and the protests with crowded daily demonstrations. Any observer can notice the collapse of this wager, at a time when the opposition went back to an exposed political maneuvering campaign to mobilize a few people every Friday by gathering their supporters in remote villages and towns to organize - via the satellite channels participating in the NATO plan - a visual deceit operation.
- Secondly, this fictive war in the media outlets reached its peak when Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya channels, Sawa, the BBC, Future television, Al-Sharq TV and the Free Lebanon Radio Station waged instigation campaigns and started issuing insults instead of providing coverage with a minimum level of objectivity.
- Thirdly, at the level of the opposition’s formation, it is clear based on the obstructed birth of the transitional council that the American decision conveyed by the Turkish behavior is to place the Muslim Brotherhood Organization on the forefront of the opposition movements in which some room was left to the liberals, the leftists and the Takfiris. The Syrian developments are thus heading towards a course in which the funded opposition movements are in competition while commanded by the Muslim Brotherhood, in the presence of some liberals and leftists who constitute a deceiving décor that is necessary for international and local misleading.
The question remains about the possibility of seeing war on Syria. It is certain that the terrorism of the Syrian Contra gangs, the pressures and the international sanctions constitute chapters of that war which – in case it were to occur - will be part of a major international confrontation revolving around occupied Palestine, in a renewed conflict over the identity of the East in which Syria has been representing the heart and fort for centuries.

The Arab file

Syria
Participation in the gatherings and demonstrations called for by the Syrian opposition witnessed a state of acute retreat during this past week, while a wave of political disputes and confrontations prevailed over the oppositionists who disagreed over the attempt of the Muslim Brotherhood Organization –with the support of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government- to impose the structure of a transitional council. This happened at a time when some of those who were named as members in it soon announced they knew nothing about it.
In that same context, the field coordination committees leading the actions of the oppositionists in Syria reiterated their instigation to carry weapons, while the political and media campaigns targeting Syria intensified amid calls for foreign interference.

Libya
Gaddafi calls for combat while oppositionists besiege Sirte after having entered Tripoli
After having entered Tripoli from the east and the west, the Libyan opposition forces are marching towards Sirte that is located 450 kilometers east of the capital. They are saying they would rather not engage in combat to control the city, but the negotiations they are conducting with the tribes of the city and its surrounding are still obstructed.
In this context, the representative of the national transitional council in Sirte and who lives in Benghazi, i.e. Hassan Drouei, said he could not talk about real progress due to the difficulties facing the opposition forces’ talks with those who are loyal to the regime. He added they were telling the people that the battle was no longer for Gaddafi’s sake but to protect their lives and that the message addressed by Gaddafi three days ago was broadcast in Sirte to urge the people to fight.
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi had addressed a voice message in which he assured he will not surrender himself and will continue to fight. On the 42nf anniversary of the Fateh revolution which brought him to power, he called on his supporters to continue resisting and pointed to disputes between the alliance of aggression and its agents. He added: “Let the battle be a long one and let Libya burn,” assuring that the Bani Walid tribes and Sirte could not be subdued.

Bahrain
Child’s death generates waves of overwhelming protests
During the participation in the funeral of a boy who was said to have passed away due to a tear gas bomb launched by the police, thousands took to the streets shouting slogans against the king of Bahrain, demanding his toppling along with the ruling family in this small kingdom that witnessed the crushing of a pro-democracy action earlier this year.
Bahraini officials said that the boy’s death was being investigated, indicating nonetheless that there were no clashes with the police at the time of his injuring.
The February 14 revolution youth coalition which has been contributing to the organization of marches and protests called for the continuation of the demonstrations under the headline “the week of the return to the square”, in reference to Pearl Square which was the main center of the protests in Manama before it was removed by the authorities in March.

Yemen
President Saleh approves early elections in principle
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh who is being treated in Saudi Arabia expressed his approval in principle over the staging of early elections. But the Yemeni opposition forces are rejecting any dialogue with the authorities and the ruling party before the surrendering of power to Vice President Abed Rabo Mansour Hadi. In this context, sources said that the Gulf States did not wish to amend their initiative, unless the two sides involved in the crisis were to request it in a consensual way.
The sources spoke about an American wish - with European support - to see the staging of early presidential elections within months under the supervision of the Yemeni vice president, while a government of national unity would prepare for these elections following the restructuring of the armed forces to end the current crisis and securely surrender power without seeing Yemen sliding toward anarchy and civil war.
It was learned at this level during the last few days that Vice President Abed Rabo Mansour Hadi was disgruntled over the refusal of the ruling party officials to sign the Gulf initiative, considering that this refusal was unjustified and subjected the entire country to escalation.

Israeli file

The Palmer UN report over the Turkish Marmara ship incident that occurred last year, was issued at the end of the week and assured that the maritime blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip was justified and legitimate since it aimed at preventing the transfer of weapons to the Strip, criticizing the organizers of the convoy and the Turkish authorities that did not prevent the ships’ departure to Gaza.

At the level of the reactions, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced the lowering of the level of diplomatic relations between his country and Israel to that of second secretary and the suspension of all the security agreements between the two sides. Israel for its part, adopted the content of the report while expressing some reservations.

On the other hand, the papers followed the security developments in Sinai and the Israeli threats to launch painful strikes in case missiles were to be launched against Israel. In the meantime, Haaretz revealed training operations conducted by the Israeli army for the settlers, allowing them to shoot at Palestinian marches towards the settlements after the Palestinian authority heads to the UN to earn the recognition of the independent state.

Lebanese affairs

Editorial: Collapse of Harirism affects Dar al-Fatwa and the army
The political campaign waged by the deputies of the Future bloc and the Hariri-affiliated media outlets against the mufti of the republic Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Kabbani and the Lebanese army, exposes the actual political collapse affecting a movement that governed Lebanon after the Ta’if accord.
Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Kabbani had provided moral and political cover to Harirism throughout the past years and ever since his appointment. He thus followed the footsteps of his predecessors and supported the third presidency in the times of defiance established by Fouad al-Sanyoura during his term. In this context, Mufti Kabbani exceeded all political and national considerations and engaged in confrontations with many references and sides within the Sunni sect, in his ongoing defense of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and his political movement with all its components, even those who recently attacked Sheikh Kabbani although they had previously sought his protection as it happened with the tea minister in the Marjeyoun barrack during the July war.
This fierce campaign came in response to his position since the formation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government, considering that Harirism is based on the monopolization of the representation, on annulment and the consecration of political control.
As for the attack against the army, it reflects the militia logic that was revealed by the armed men of Harirism after they emerged in Akkar and before that in Sidon, Beirut and Tripoli on the day of Sheikh Saad’s anger against Mikati’s designation. But this rhetoric does not serve Al-Hariri because the wide base of the military institution in many areas will affect his political and electoral interests in regions such as Eklim al-Kharroub, Akkar and Center and Western Bekaa. In the context of its collapse, Harirism is turning toward the rhetoric of Jundullah and Fatah al-Islam, while the biggest share of this hysteria is the failure of the American promise in regard to an imminent development in Syria.

The Lebanese file

The political action retreated while awaiting the outcome of the final contacts between the sides of the new majority over the electricity file, before the Cabinet session that should be held on September 7.

The papers thus tackled the electricity file and the ongoing consultations to reach an agreement before this next cabinet session, while Prime Minister Najib Mikati said to As-Safir that as long as the file of the proposed plan has been opened, “we must come up with a vision that would immunize the plan without undermining it.”

It is worth mentioning that Mikati had also given an interview to the Saudi Al-Hayat newspaper in which he said that he intended to continue funding the international tribunal for Lebanon. He told Al-Hayat that Lebanon must be separated from the developments unfolding in Syria and must not interfere in the affairs of other countries in order to “ensure that they do not interfere in ours.” Mikati added: “Lebanon has a number of specificities that are known to all. We want to remain neutral in these circumstances and our priority is to take care of our internal affairs.”

Asked by Al-Hayat about Lebanon’s position at the Security Council in case an agreement is reached over the imposition of sanctions against Syria, Mikati said: “We will not go against international will and we cannot be against anyone as a matter of fact. We are isolating ourselves from the developments in Syria but we will not be acting outside of international legitimacy.” The Lebanese prime minister added: “My government will continue to fund the international tribunal since this is in Lebanon’s best interest and the government will do what is best for the country.”

In regard to the electricity issue Mikati said it was a technical issue. He continued: “We want to make sure that power is provided to the Lebanese people at the lowest possible cost. And this is being studied in detail. Even if we have diverging views over this matter, this does not constitute a problem. After all, this is Lebanon and we have never all agreed over one issue. What interests me is that we become capable of providing electricity and financing that project from our own budget.”

During the crowded festival organized by the Amal Movement in Baalbek on the 33rd anniversary of the disappearance of Imam Moussa al-Sadr and his companions, parliament Speaker Nabih Berri praised “the fall of the regime of dictator Muammar Gaddafi,” accusing the latter of having assassinated Arab and African Unity. He hoped that the secrets will be unveiled following Gaddafi’s fall, namely those related to the kidnapping of Imam Al-Sadr and his companions. He thus hoped that the Libyan transitional council would launch investigations with all the figures of the former regime about Imam Al-Sadr’s fate and appreciated the announcement made by the head of the Libyan transitional council regarding the fact that this case was a priority.

Al-Akhbar newspaper mentioned that the absence of the Future Movement deputies from the Eid al-Fitr prayer that was led by Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Kabbani at Al-Amin Mosque was part of the campaign that was launched ever since the mufti decided that Najib Mikati deserved a chance as a prime minister. This battle with the mufti of the Lebanese republic was decided by the Future figures based on information mainly circulated by Saad al-Hariri and Fouad al-Sanyoura regarding the fact that the mufti insulted Al-Hariri during his last visit to Saudi Arabia.

According to Al-Akhbar, the pro-Hariri figures were insisting on their viewpoint and adding: “The mufti wishes to extend his term and there are financial deals between the mufti’s son and Mikati. The mufti is getting funds from Hezbollah and has provided a cover for the Hama massacre by receiving Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdul Karim Ali one day after the massacre was committed and following Saad al-Hariri’s speech in solidarity with the Syrian people.” This campaign kept escalating as the Future Movement figures also decided to boycott the visit conducted by the mufti to Shebaa, although the local inhabitants of the region gathered to welcome him.

Source
New Orient News

Wassim Raad

New Orient Center for Strategic Policies

 
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