Prime minister Saad Al-Hariri wasted little time in submitting his resignation. At this moment, there is hardly any tempting reason left for him to remain in governance. The protests attempting to take on a multi-headed dragon, not only pushed back against the government, but were in fact the end of it. The prime minister chose well, letting go of the decrepit structure whose collapse was eminent.
Here is a quick glance at the “winners” and the “losers” of the mass protests that took the streets by storm:
Read more: A Movement Needs no Leadership
Here is a quick glance at the winners and the losers of the mass protests that took the streets by storm:
Prime minister Hariri won the public over. He presented himself as an innocent victim who was unable to achieve reform from within the governing regime. He presented himself as impartial, and uninvested in defending the presidency while he remains confident that would he return, he will return even stronger following this uprising
Dr. Samir Gaegae also won the mainstream Christian support after pledging immediate solidarity to the popular movements through submitting the resignation of all his party’s ministers. Noting that the Lebanese Forces party already had the intent of resignation before the movements began, They quickly seized the opportunity of the eruption of the popular movement. Gaegae won by successfully vilifying his Christian rival Gebran Bassil by presenting him as a failed provocateur and an apologist in regard to his relationship with Hezbollah and Syria.
The Lebanese Communist Party also won through its smart and effective reemergence within the ranks of the younger generations as well places inaccessible to the rest of the parties and sects. The party was able to cement its position as the primary political alternative in the south following Hezbollah and Amal.
Amal Movement suffered some loses in credibility albeit not popular support. teir leader, his wife, and many of Amal’s deputies were targeted by damning accusations that virtually reached the level of political assassination and exposing conflicts between the leader’s sons. In addition, Amal supporters heavily intervened in the protests in downtown Beirut as they physically assaulted students and peaceful demonstrators while chanting unwarranted sectarian chants. It appeared as if the orchestrators of the attack were operating in a sectarian mindset that evoked the specter of civil war.
The Free Patriotic Movement took a loss after the state of President Michel Aoun’s health was revealed, suggesting to his supporters that the office of the presidency is practically vacant and that the presidency has entered its fourth year without any significant reform; neither in state administration nor in governmental procedures. The leader of the Free Patriotic movement, Gebran Bassil was targeted by an organized, strong, and successful political and personal attack which portrayed him as a seditious power grabbing leader who seeks out and targets any potential competitor. In addition to that, many conflicts arose within the presidential palace between himself and his Chamel Roukuz, his wife’s brother-in-law. It has also been three years into the presidency without a single case of corruption being charged by the courts.
The biggest losers, had they intervened or not and had they taken a position or not, are Hezbollah, for they are the declared and undeclared target. Whether they are a declared or undeclared target, to internal or external conspirators, it is taken far from lightly that such events occur in the orbit of Hezbollah; only a short distance from their stronghold. Hezbollah made no gains from what the municipal police forces in Nabatiyeh committed against the peaceful protestors, most of whom were former resistance fighters, in Kfar Remmen Square; in addition to attacking protests by student, who are aspiring for a better future, blocking the ‘Ring’ bridge in downtown Beirut. It also serves to remember that Hezbollah, for a period of time, held the banner against corruption, but it is evident for all that they have failed.
Whether Hezbollah’s actions were correct or incorrect, composed or disconcerted, the target is already painted on their backs and the backs of their allies. Nasrallah has taken upon himself the task of defending the presidency from the popular protests that demand retribution from those who stole and committed corruption. This caused the an inconvenient mix up in the minds of students, independents, teenagers, rioters, and dreamers alike. They could not differentiate between this presidency and the corrupt administration and the long-standing regime and its provisions of necessity.
The enthusiasm of the protesters was excessive in the face of a party that monitors the movement of ships and submarines at sea, the movement of drones and non-drones in the sky, as well as suspicious movements at the border or at home that seize the first opportunity to target the resistance and its arms.
Walid Jumblatt recognized how to avoid loss as well gain in this tense climate. Although, he was pleased with his match win against Bassil that was decided by points awarded, but through others.
The people alone were the ones who won before themselves and before the administration by gaining back their self-confidence as well as their ability to change through taking the streets. The movement presented an all-encompassing patriotic discourse in the face of sectarians who cannot contain it, as well as a fair and just discourse feared by the corrupt and the pillagers.