The war did not start on July 12, 2006. I have memories of war stashed away right next to the memory of my first electronic Spelling game that my parents got me to accelerate my learning of the alphabet in the pre-kindergarten years of the pre-Atari era. The war started in the year 12 b.h.n. (before Hassan Nasrallah) and it hasn’t ended yet. The July, Lebanon’s Second, or Sixth labels are just chapter titles to distinguish the 33 days of open military warfare as opposed to the covert military ops that preceded and continued after that period.
The problem is that Israel in its current version is not compatible with peace. Maybe version 2.0 will have that option programmed into it but until then it’ll be war. I will not start a dissertation on the topic of Israeli society being built by war for war. I don’t have the time or energy for the debate, but it is safe to say that 60 years of trying to force peace have been fruitless; except for a paper peace with an oppressive dictator here and a tea party there. Are the Arabs still begging for their peace initiative to be accepted? Well paper peace has accomplished the conditional release of 4 Jordanian captives, even if it was 12 years after said peace deal, and only so that Hamas and Hezbollah don’t get credit for their release but who’s counting.
The media is going crazy with the “anniversary” so I won’t bore you with more talk about it, but I will state that I have no problem with Lisa Goldman’s report for Israeli TV from Beirut. I shared a few minutes with Lisa last year on a TV debate during the war. Well it wasn’t much of a debate since we agreed on most points since she seemed to be part of that peaceful Israel 2.0 beta. She’s a journalist not an enemy combatant. Of course being a journalist did not vouch for Imad Ghanem who was used by the Israeli army for target practice as he laid on the ground pleading for help (Google for video of this incident). Anyhow spies and collaborators roaming the cities and mountains of the nation are a dime a dozen; a journalist roaming the pubs of Beirut (and she's Canadian to boot) and reporting that Hezbollah googles names a la potential daters is the last of my worries.
Back to the internal Lebanese political scene… well that’s if we can assume Paris is in Lebanon and that a gathering between Mahmoud Berri and Mirna El Murr constitutes a political scene. I am skeptical about any positive outcome coming of the Parisian Dhahieh as I do not see anyone stepping up to fill the void in the leadership of the round table with the absence of Elie Skaff. Although with Ahmad Fatfat out of town the army should be able to finish off what’s left of Fateh El Islam in Naher el Bared. I’m joking of course as there is no evidence of any recent involvement of Fatfat in Fateh El Islam’s activities.
Finally, Ahmad El Assaad launched the Lebanese Option Gathering as a Third option for Shiites in Lebanon. I won’t go into the sectarian aspect of this move as El Assaad is clearly nostalgic to his family’s Dynasty years. Some see that the problems in Lebanon are due to the lack of Shiite or Sunni or Maronite parties; and third, fourth, or seventeenth options would help. Fine, but El Assaad himself already heads at least one other political party: the Kafa’at party. So what does L.O.G. have that Kafa’at didn’t? See only a short sighted simpleton would ask that, El Assaad actually discovered a genial way of making up for the lack of popular support. The next time the sons of Kamel El Assaad and Sabri Hamadeh meet the headline would read “Heads of 37 Parties Gather at the Commodore in Support of Mufti Ali El Amin”, it sure beats “2 Loser Sons of Former feudal lords drown their sorrows at Hotel bar.”