Here Comes Fatfat!
These are the people in charge of Lebanon. Oh mighty God, have mercy on all of us.
Ahmad Fatfat is the interim Interior Minister. Word in Beirut is that he is one of the smart ones in the current government. I'll give him credit for showing his face on TV, which is more than can be said about PM Milquetoast Siniora and AWOL Defense Minister Murr. During the first week of the war, the champions of TV appearances were the Minister of Culture and the Minister of Sports. The Minister of post-Um-Kulthum Tarab Music was a close third.
It was all very reassuring not to hear form the top brass while the country was being bombed to kingdom-come.
Now to Fatfat, from an interview with the Aussie ABC from August 2, 2006 (hat tip Claire, full interview here):
WARNING! Long rambling sentences, but worth the read to gauge the depth of the catastrophic incompetence and incoherence we are facing.
TONY JONES: Why is it, Dr Fatfat, why is it the Lebanese Government and the Lebanese army have been unable to make any headway at all up to and before this offensive began in disarming Hezbollah and taking away its missiles, which are situated on your own sovereign territory?
DR AHMAD FATFAT: It's a very interesting question. Look, you have an occupied territory by Israel in Shebaa. They don't get out, they don't withdraw from it. We have three prisoners in Israel. One of them is still there for 29 years. You understand 29 years in the prison. All the days, all over the last month, the sovereignty of our space in air, in water, on the ground was affected by Israel. So why did we have to have the resistance? We not have the obligation to do the resistance to this all-Israeli aggression. If they want peace, it is so easy. They can get out from Shebaa, they can liberate the prisoner, give us the plan and the map of the mine in Lebanon they put 10 years, more than 10 years, ago and they respect our sovereignty. In this case, it is so easy to control all of the border by the Israeli army and to have a real control and real sovereignty on Lebanon. Basically, they don't want peace. They really prefer this situation because they prefer to make a war against Lebanon, than to have it against Syria or against Iran.
Is Fatfat offering "peace" for Shebaa, a few prisoners and a mine map? Of course not, Israel would gulp that offer in 2 secs. The Lebanese government is on record "last country to make peace" and Hezbo is on record "no peace ever ever never ever."
It gets better (or rather worse).
TONY JONES: Dr Fatfat, it sounds like you are in fact supporting the offensive which began with Hezbollah rocket attacks on northern Israel. You describe that as resistance, do you?
DR AHMAD FATFAT: Sure because Israel is doing the same. Now any act of war against Israel is a act of resistance. It's a war. They impose - they want this war. We want peace, but they prefer to have war. It is a price of the war for everybody.
The meaning of the above paragraph is a fascinating mystery to me. Read on.
TONY JONES: But it does seem clear that in this case, this war began with Hezbollah bombing with its missiles Israeli cities. Now, you are part of the Lebanese Government. Under the UN Security Council Resolution 1559 under which the Syrian army was withdrawn from Lebanon, your government was obliged to actually disarm Hezbollah, but now you are telling us you actually support what they are doing.
DR AHMAD FATFAT: No, no. It is different. It is so different. We have, as I said, an occupied territory. We have a plan of seven points that our Prime Minister presents to the meeting in Rome a few days ago. It is so clear. After a complete cease-fire, we exchange prisoners, we ask Israel to go to the blue line, the border line, we can - so we stop to attack Lebanon and they have to respect our sovereignty. So we accept to have international forces. By international, what we mean is UN forces to control the zone, to protect Lebanon from Israeli attack and to respect cease-fire and the Lebanese army can have the control of all of the Lebanese territory so we can have no more attack. This is a solution to go to the agreement of armistice of 49 because this is not a war beginning now. It's a war of at least - very soon it will be for 60 years. It's a new battle.
The mystery deepens but in typical Arab fashion, after a devastating loss on the terrain, Fatfat thinks he can go back to the status quo ante. (You know like: hey dude let's go back to 1948 borders or 67 borders, it'd be cool)
TONY JONES: Dr Fatfat, do you agree Hezbollah, and their missiles, should have been disarmed in southern Lebanon or do you think they are in fact part of a resistance movement of which your government is part? It is quite confusing.
DR AHMAD FATFAT: No, no, no, not confusing. Until now - until we have occupied territory in Shebaa and we have prisoners, we have the obligation to have resistance. We cannot dismiss like that. We can not resign. What you are asking me is that you resign occupied territory with prisoners in relation to our space, of our water every day? It is not admissible. No one can admit this situation. If they respect the Lebanon territory, they respect Lebanon independencies and leave the Lebanese territory in Shebaa, they leave our prisoner, so no need to resist us or militia or anything. Now we can not except the nomination of militia to Hezbollah. It is a resistance and we need peace. We are working for a package deal and this package deal, this agreement, Hezbollah has partly accepted. So we present it to the international community in Rome and our friends in the Arab world and in Europe accept it. We have only now to convince the American diplomacy so we can have a lot of pressure on Israel to stop this war and have cease-fire. Then we are going to a real package deal to have real peace in our region.
Is he intimating that before July 12, life in Lebanon was terrible and conditions intolerable? Well thanks Hezbo and Fatfatian "tolerators", you took care of that.
You can read the whole thing if you are into masochism. And if you can make sense out of any of it, I'll nominate you for the 2006 Nobel in Logic.
For my part I'll say: this is what happens when you try to entertain a major contradiction on important matters: You sound like a fool and your policies lead to disaster. Maybe after all Fatfat is not as smart as Murr and Siniora who were in hiding the first 2 weeks and are keeping their mouths shut (for the most part).
Those are the people in charge of Lebanon. Lord have mercy.