Editorial

Logic and consistency

Training for the Arab Summit in Beirut, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)

Logic and consistency seem to have eluded several March 8 elements who have been hammering into the Lebanese people how vital it is to invite Syria to the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in Beirut later this month.

Calls are reaching a crescendo, propelled by some who seek to put the interests of Bashar Assad’s regime above those of their own country. They claim that inviting the Syrian president would be patriotic, and that it’s Lebanon’s duty to do so.

Just a moment. First of all, the conference might be taking place in Lebanon, but it’s an Arab League event, and it’s the Arab League that decides who is invited. Syrian membership of the league was suspended in 2011 for the violence the regime was committing against its people.

Fast-forward eight years and the conflict has left the country in ruins. Around half a million people have been killed and around half the population has been displaced, including over 6 million who fled as refugees.

But putting those facts aside, as some seem to have done, let’s also remember that the Syrian regime has placed Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Joumblatt and Samir Geagea, the head of one of the most prominent Christian parties in Lebanon, on its terrorist list.

That’s pretty rich for a murderous regime that itself is accused of carrying out or planning terrorist acts in Lebanon.

So, are we to believe that Assad, were he to even be invited to the summit, would sit in the same room as our premier-designate?

More importantly, how does the regime have the audacity to brand as terrorists the representatives of a country that, for over 30 years, has been the victim of Syrian atrocities committed on Lebanese soil? And what of the fate of the thousands of missing Lebanese whose whereabouts the government has tried in vain to investigate?

Isn’t it more patriotic to speak out against any country or party that dishonors, in word or deed, Lebanon’s elected representatives, rather than lobby on its behalf?

Attempting to settle scores through perverted political games is tantamount to self-condemnation of a lack of patriotism, logic and consistency, to say the very least.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 04, 2019, on page 1.

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