THE language is almost the same in describing the popular uprising in Tehran, Beirut and Baghdad. This applies on both parties – the protesters and the governments.
Protesters in all of these capitals are demanding for better living and socio-economic standards, whereas the governments are conveniently talking about ‘foreign-backed conspiracies’.
It is as if the so called ‘axis of dissent’ is reading from the same book in different dialects and languages. They do not see the facts. They passively mention corrupt individuals in order not to expose themselves.
In this axis, the remedies are similar and wrong as if the mind of corrupt governments is suffering from impotence. Since a year ago, the leaders in Tehran have been talking about their success in foiling foreign conspiracies through the popular uprising which has been ongoing since December 2018.
In Baghdad, leaders organically linked to Tehran have been trying for about three months to avoid responding to popular demands. Instead, they are talking about regional agendas.
In Beirut, the pinnacle of Iran’s expansion scheme in the persona of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is not different from what Iran’s supreme leader said recently when he addressed officials of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and the ‘Basij Militia Forces’. This question must be raised: Is this the reality?
Frankly, it is not. The three regimes are governed by a political class that is similar in everything in terms of looting which looms over the daily lives of people. This is in addition to international sanctions – consequences of the terrorist behavior exhibited by the State in the form of Iran or the sectarian militias as manifested in the current situation in Lebanon and Iraq.
Also, these regimes employ thousands of non-existing persons, especially in security and public institutions. This is prevalent in Iraq, while the situation in Lebanon is not much different as the ruling alliance led by Hezbollah dominates most jobs. In Iran, the entire economy seems to serve the Revolutionary Guard which is the main employer.
The actual project in these countries is not to serve the people, but the ruling class under the pretext of resistance. Amazingly, no one knows which resistance is being addressed. Is it the United States of America as these countries are exerting tremendous efforts to negotiate with it, even on the crumbs of lifting a portion of the sanctions so that the cow they are milking does not die? Is it Israel which organizes deals with some Latin American countries to smuggle Iranian peanuts and Iraqi oil to these countries. Or the Arab Gulf states as whenever these states extend the hand of peace to one of them, they reciprocate with provocation and betrayal? Thus, whenever a protester in Karbala asks about the objective of the so-called countries of ‘dissent,’ the answer is live bullets targeting his chest.
In each of these countries; there is a declared or secret leader while the militias are outside the State circle, the economy is exhausted and incitement of sectarian strife is rampant such as the way Hezbollah and the Amal Movement in Beirut chant, “Shiites… Shiites,” demanding for avenging the comrade for something which is non-existent. Or their attempts to say: “We are here to strive towards transforming the regime into ‘Shiasm’, while their leaders are sleeping on the pillow of ignorance; abandoning all the slogans of national unity they have been chanting in the last 30 years.
Now that Lebanon is in our creedal and sectarian lineup as demonstrated in cities in Tripoli, Beirut, Bekaa and the South; those who have been cooing for three decades about national unity and the equity of ‘people, army and resistance’ have forgotten the fact that ignition of fire in this situation will devour Lebanon.
This country is loaded with sectarian and creedal mistrust in the tunnels of civil war. This time, no one is there to extinguish the fire the way the civil war was extinguished in Taif, Saudi Arabia in the 1980s. This is due to the fact that the international community and the Arabs are busy with internal affairs, whereas these people have no problem in igniting bloody fire as long as it serves the axis. The loser in Yemen and Syria wants to compensate his losses elsewhere.
Today, these regimes are seeking assistance from each other to suppress the uprisings. Iran imports the gangs of the popular mobilization units to combat the protesters in Shiraz, Mashhad, Qom, Tehran and Khuzestan; while Kassem Suleimani leads his forces to suppress the Iraqis.
In Lebanon, it is enough to return to the statement of the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament in 2008 in response to former MP Walid Jombulat in describing what happened on May 7 that year as “trouble seekers”.
On that day, Nabih Berri said: “Those who took to the street are the servants of Amal Movement and the real thing is yet to come.” Perhaps, they are practicing today the “real deal” which was kept for a time to save the trio of seditious days.
The so-called “axis of dissent” has substantially proven that it is just piece of paper floating in contaminated waters. They are not more than mafias of looting and corruption hiding behind dummy slogans, quick to cover up their crimes when caught red handed; hence, they attempt to blame the foreign establishment for their impotence and failure.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times