Saturday, August 19, 2006

A new grouping of forces is emerging in Lebanon

Bassem Chit - August 19th 2006


Politically things are moving very fast. It’s already clear that we have a historic chance to build a new workers’ movement that transcends sectarian divisions out of the rubble of Lebanon.

The relief effort was a real test for Lebanese society.

The fact that people came together from across the different sects to deliver relief shows that on some level we have got rid of sectarianism as a social problem. But we need to drive this much deeper.

There is a great deal of anger at the Lebanese government and I don’t think the government will last long. People feel that it was covering up for the Israeli aggression while the resistance was winning the fights on the ground.

It took the government of Fouad Siniora a whole week to come out against aggression. This is because a section of them hate their own people - to a degree, they wanted the population to be punished in order to win a political argument against the resistance.

But it’s an argument they have now lost. The Hariri gang, the Lebanese Forces and other pro-US forces behind last year’s so called “cedar revolution” have been defeated. The next phase of politics will be led by Hizbollah and Michael Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement.

Now we need a grassroots movement that can fight for social justice and democracy across the Middle East. Much of the traditional left here has not grasped that Israel’s defeat is not just a win within Lebanon, but a defeat for the very idea of imperialism, and a defeat for the Arab regimes supported by imperialism.

The key task for the international left as a whole is to look at this question of imperialism, how to fight it and how to build movements that can organise internationally against imperialism - and not just in emergency situations.