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"Maarab deal" is not following the Kurdish example in Lebanon, it left it 25 years ago

Washington | January 28, 2016, 21h15
Par Tom Harb

An article published in al Jumhuriya by Toni Issa, tried to argue that perhaps the "Me3rab deal" between Dr Geagea and General Michel Aoun will create conditions similar to the situation of the Kurds in northern Iraq and north East Syria and possibly move the Christian community of Lebanon towards autonomy if not separation. The author claims that just by coming together Geagea and Aoun have "unified the Christians" and put them on a track leading to a "Christian region or Christian bloc."

The article is designed in our view to alleviate the mounting pressure by the Lebanese Christian public against the "deal" and the silent frustration among the supporters of Dr Geagea and General Aoun for the destruction caused by the 1990 war and for the people who were killed for no reason. Alluding that the Geagea Aoun axis is going to create a "dream situation" for the Christians is not reality. Because reality is just the opposite of this picture. Reality is a nightmare that started in 1990 and is now going worse.

Both Geagea and Aoun had a historic opportunity in 1989 to create a free republic in Lebanon until full liberation of the country. East Beirut and large free areas, one million inhabitants, a combined force of 25,000 military, an airport, enough weapons to deter Assad and the pro Iranian militias. They had everything to do what the Kurds have achieved in the last 25 years. The Kurds had nothing except free towns in northern Iraq in 1990. Geagea and Aoun had everything the Kurds would dream of. But what did the two Lebanese Christian leaders do? They destroyed East Beirut and the free areas, they broke the Lebanese Forces and the Lebanese Army, they invited the Syrian army and Hezbollah in. And worse they sold the weapons!

With Taef, Dr Geagea surrendered the federal system to an Arabist republic in 1991 and with the "Tafahom" General Aoun opened the Christian areas to Hezbollah in 2005. But they were both put out of action for 15 years in spite of all the surrenders they did.

Now 25 years later, they are not going anywhere close to autonomy. One is the ally of Hezbollah and the other wants to join him. They may change their minds? Maybe they would, and if they do the people may forgive them. But for now they are not. They are creating a dominant political force in the Christian areas to seize as much power for both leaders and obtain as much seats and influence in a central Government controlled by Hezbollah. That's all folks.

If they change direction against Hezbollah we cannot but support that opposition. But if they won't we cannot but oppose them.

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