ArDO: Yes we want Lebanon to be the Switzerland of the East and Beirut the Paris of the East

ArDO has the honour to interview one of the greatest activists for the Lebanese cause.

By: Roni Doumit

ArDO will have a series of interviews with personalities that have done things to affect the positive political development in Lebanon.

Our guy today is the Lebanese American engineer Tom Harb who during the latest years has been heading many organizations with the common goal to have a future Lebanon liberated from the many occupations.

Mr Tom is among many organizations heading the World Maronite Union and one of the starters of the World Council for the Cedar Revolution and the International Lebanese committee for implementing the UNSCR 1559.

1. Mr Tom, do you think that the 1559 is the only solution for Lebanon or
could the Hezbollah with allies have some better solution?

UNSCR 1559 was designed to highlights the major issues in Lebanon and get the International community to be aware of those issues. Hoping that the Lebanese government and the civil society will start working toward solving these issues under the supervision of the UN. However 1559 didn't have a mechanism for the implementation in case a resistance by certain groups. Therefore, we have introduced a draft for a new UNSCR resolution to be discussed at the UNSCR based on the world Council for the Cedar revolution and the committee for 1559 after consultation with a vast majority of the Lebanese people and governments.

2. Will Lebanon be safe if the resistance of Hezbollah was disarmed?

The disarmament of Hezbollah will be a major step for Lebanon safety but need to disarm the Palestinians inside and outside the camps as well as other some radical militias in different parts of the country. However, by disarming the largest and most sophisticated militia, disarming the rest will be much easier.

3. Why did this war break up now and not at another time between 2000 and

Hezbollah kept pushing the button little by little. But at this time took a full scale due to the following reasons:

1) Iran nuclear plan and the conflict with the international community.

2) Syria is under the microscope and the investigation by the UN for alleged assassination of former Prime Minister Hariri.

3) Hezbollah under internal pressure to disarm.

Giving all above, the 3 groups met and decided in order to deflect the attention some where else. Of course, Israel is the common enemy for those 3 parties and to the Arabs and Muslims in general.

4. Why do you think Hizbullah has such a great support among the Lebanese
inside Lebanon?

Hezbollah has been intimidating the people for so long, I disagree that Hezbollah has a great support among the Lebanese inside Lebanon. What we have read and been informed that the opposition to Hezbollah as follows: 80 % Christians, 80% Druze, 70% Sunnis, and 40% Shiites.

5. Tom, do you think that the Lebanese in general should mobilize more to
stop the Israeli attacks or to call for the disarmament of Hezbollah, in these hard times of war?

The Lebanese shall mobilize to clean their country from all terror, terrorism has been infested through out. The Lebanese must rise up and tell Hezbollah to stop destroying Lebanon and to give up whatever still have from weapons and commit to the Lebanese authority.

6. Do you think we should start to think of next steps after a Hizbullah era?
Or is there a big chance that the Hizbullah era will stay in Lebanon and the
Middle East?

The International community is mobilized to disarm Hezbollah and move to the next era, so the Lebanese must at least meet half way... Then move to the next step after Hezbollah.

7. Can you see Syria entering the war together with Iran?

Syria doesn't have much to enter the war, its weaponry is outdated...

The Syrian regime will be committing suicide if they decide to enter the war, unless they get pressured by the Iranians to pay up.

8. How should Israel tackle Hezbollah?

Hezbollah is not Israel problem only, it is the Lebanese, and the world problem.

Israel might destroy the infrastructure for Hezbollah and leave the rest to the International community for the clean up.

9. Do you have any plan for the implementation of the 1559 with low risks to
the Lebanese society?

We submitted a draft to the UNSCR members on Monday July 31, 2006. The draft outlines all the points for the implementation of UNSCR 1559 and 1680.

10. Do you think that this war could have been avoided?

This war is between Iran and the International community on the Lebanese soil.

However, if the traditional Lebanese politicians have not stopped the Cedars revolution movement last year from going up to Baabda to remove President Emile Lahoud, and then to the Parliament to remove Mr. Nabih Berry, then it would have a chance to encircle Hezbollah and weaken his image.

Also, it would have minimized the influence of Hezbollah of entering the Seniora government which it has crippled its activities.

Thank you Mr Tom Harb, The Aramaic democratic Organization consider you a member of the ArDO family and may we together continue the struggle for a free, peaceful and pluralistic Lebanon for all its ethnicities to live in.

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