Jumblat Slams Army Critics: Spread of Illegitimate Arms Can Only Be Resolved with Dialogue

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Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat lamented on Saturday the rise of extremism in Lebanon at the expense of moderation, stressing the need to combat it through backing the state and the army.

He said in a statement: “The recent developments demonstrate that the spread of arms cannot be tackled through more arms … but through the return to dialogue.”

“The recent chaos is tantamount to a crime against the Lebanese army and attempts to build the state,” he added.

“It is a blow to the martyrs who died while performing their national duties to enforce stability and security,” he continued.

Jumblat stressed: “We reject any unjustified attempt to tarnish the army's image.”

“It is sad and scary to see the posters of former Premier Saad Hariri, who is a symbol of moderation, being torn down in the northern city of Tripoli and in late PM Rashid Karami's square, who in turn was also a symbol of Lebanese national moderation,” he stated.

“It is sad and scary to see the moderation advocated by slain Premier Rafik Hariri fail as a result of ongoing policies of incitement and the shortcomings of political leaders,” he added.

“It is unfortunate that the confusion within a major political camp has led to this extent of extremism,” he noted in an indirect reference to the Mustaqbal Movement.

“The Lebanese are better off adhering to moderation instead of falling victim to the traps of sectarian extremism … that can be thwarted through supporting the state and its institutions starting with the army and security forces,” Jumblat added.

“These security and military forces are the people's last resort in protecting stability through confronting extremist thought even at the expense of popular interests,” he remarked.

On this note, he rejected all sides that questioned the role of the army in the recent clashes that took place in the southern city of Sidon between the army and armed supporters of Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir that took place on Sunday and Monday.

He also demanded that an investigation be launched in the amateur video that showed a group of soldiers humiliating, beating and kicking a man suspected of supporting al-Asir.

The army on Thursday handed over a group of soldiers accused of abusing a detainee to the military police for questioning, a military source and the state-run National News Agency said.

Eighteen soldiers were killed and 50 were wounded in clashes between the army and armed supporters of al-Asir in Sidon.

More than 20 of al-Asir's supporters were killed, according to a security official.

Dozens of them were also arrested, but there was no sign of the cleric.

Sidon Muslim Ulemas accused on Wednesday Hizbullah fighters of taking part in the battles alongside the army, despite assertions by various officials that the army acted alone in combating the gunmen.

Addressing the dispute over next week's three-day parliamentary session, Jumblat wondered: “How is that some of the officials are now beginning to respect the balance of power between the parliament and government?”

“Wasn't parliament's term extended through the caretaker government's approval?” he asked.

“Why this sudden shift in position?” he asked, accusing some sides of adopting double standards in their political practices.

“Shouldn't the needs of this current phase in Lebanon obligate the extension of the term of the army commander, the support of the military institution, and the approval of a number of draft laws that would help improve living conditions in Lebanon?” he wondered.

Parliament is scheduled to convene on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in order to tackle a number of draft laws.

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati has however voiced his rejection of the session, explaining that a regular parliamentary meeting cannot be held in light of a caretaker cabinet.

Parliament can only convene to address pressing issues, he said.

A number of parliamentary blocs advocated his position, announcing their boycott of the session.

Comments 21
Missing forces 29 June 2013, 14:37

man Lebanon must be in worse shape than i had imagined. Even Jumblat is making sense :)

Thumb mckinl 29 June 2013, 14:44

He came back from Riyadh empty handed and worse, empty suitcases.

Thumb mckinl 29 June 2013, 15:14

Jumblat knows that under Wahhabi law his people are doomed ... And that is just what the KSA wants ... Wahhabism in both Syria and now Lebanon.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Hariri sidelined by the KSA in favor of an all out Salafist intifada in Lebanon ... They will fail but the cost in lives ...

Thumb mckinl 29 June 2013, 15:37

I do not see how you can reconcile the behavior of Geagea with the good of Lebanon ... He too is in the Saudi's pockets and rumored to be a front for the US therefore Zionist interests. The LF needs new leadership ...

Thumb mckinl 29 June 2013, 16:18

@ the1phoenix

Thank you for your honesty ... I know these decisions were very painful but when doesn't betrayal bring much pain ...

Thumb geha 29 June 2013, 16:36

for your information:
Asir is now in Syria.
an army unit was following him into Syria and got caught by the FSA and turned back into Lebanon.

Thumb geha 29 June 2013, 17:37

yes hizbushaitan is so afraid of the Palestinian camps :)
but that is not what you should be afraid of m8: you should start to feel the grunt of the sunni world as they are preparing for along civil war in Lebanon.
hizbushaitan is no longer acceptable by sunnis all over, and a lot is going to be done about it.
you underestimated what people can do when constantly humiliated!
nasrallah = hitler.

Thumb geha 29 June 2013, 18:07

go down the path of insuts :) you are proving you are what we know you are: an Iranian agent.
as far as voting down or up: I simply do not do it :) I do not care about that.

Missing peace 29 June 2013, 19:18

palestinian camps? for years people asked for their disarmement but who opposed it? hezbis... coz if so they know they would be next... hezbis need enemies for their propaganda! israel, assir, palestinians and so on... peace has never been what hezbis wanted ! like parasites they feed on chaos to spread their propaganda to weak minded people... who need a weak lebanon? israel and... hezbis!

Thumb geha 29 June 2013, 20:39

you talk about sunni extremism while you stay silent about shia extremism! why?
as for taxing me to be sectarian, lots of others before you tried that and finally realized I am not.
now for your friend that you are defending: he is a fake hiding behind a picture of bachir.

Missing VINCENT 30 June 2013, 01:10

The Palestinian camps are a ticking bomb waiting for the right time to unleash the carefully orchestrated devastation of our "Watan" by the Salafists, the Wahabis, the Jihadists. Therefore, I focus on the following statement of Jumblat: “These security and military forces are the people's last resort in protecting stability through confronting extremist thought even at the expense of popular interests." I would urge those with purely Lebanese interests take this remark to heart and implementation.

Thumb geha 29 June 2013, 16:55

he is not an LF, nor a Christian.
he is a propaganda for m8 trying to misinform hiding behind the picture of bachir.
he uncovered himself totally a few days ago, and has no respect from anyone.
all he does is misinformation posing as one of us.

Thumb geha 29 June 2013, 17:38

you are a fake and we know exactly who you are :) when the time is right we will handle you.

Thumb geha 29 June 2013, 17:40

you are hiding behind the picture of bachir to try to spread your venom.
you are just another Iranian agent, a shia extremist in disguise.
as I said above: we know who you are already.

Thumb cedre 29 June 2013, 17:48

phoenix, ca fait un petit moment que je te lis et je respecte ton opinion et experience bien que sunni et non FL. Cependant tu sembles pas voir la mainmise du Hizb sur des parties de l'armee et du renseignement, leur persecution systematique des sunnis. On est tous contre Assir, mais ses denoncitations sont exactes. Il a raison sur le fond pas la forme. Et si les libanais ne reagissent pas, le pays va etre mis a feu et a sang...

Missing people-power 29 June 2013, 19:44

I discovered the true identity of the so-called "the1phoenix" many months ago. He is the worst type of Iranian propagandist, trying to pretend he was former pro-M14, but now switching sides. He is simply a wolf in sheep's clothing. Do not trust this fake person, he is a liar and a hypocrite.

Thumb geha 29 June 2013, 20:45

no one likes asir! it looks like your hard head does not comprehend that fact.
we hate all extremists starting with hizbushaitan, the source of all evil.
can you find a way to let it through your thick mind?

Missing people-power 29 June 2013, 21:00

When people like "the_bore" come to defend him, it's a pretty good clue to his true identity

Missing helicopter 29 June 2013, 22:59

I hope Taymoor will have more credibility, but I doubt it as often the apple does not fall far from the tree. The young get their training from the old before they are released to inherit their rightful place amongst the 40 thieves.
Dialogue or by any other mean: Palestinians armed by Syria and Hezb armed by Iran both are tools to serve the interests of Syria and Iran at the exxpense of Lebanon. This is what M8 posters on this forum say for each of the issues facing Lebanon:
Demarcate the Lebanese/Syrian border (this is a Zionist conspiracy). Disarm Hezb (this is a Zionist conspiracy) or better yet (not now and not ever you Salafist Takfiri,s Wahabis, heart-eater, Asir lover.....).
Poor Lebanon

Missing peace 29 June 2013, 23:23

don't worry geha... hezbi lovers have only a binary mind... if you dont like hezbis it means you are a sionist (it s been long time since they haven't used that, now the trend being salafi, the new fear they want to spread LOL!) or a salafi (now the new word!)...

their brain is so washed that they cannot understand how you can be against ALL extremisms! fuuny things these hezbis lovers....

as for christians and shia for secularism? BIG LAUGH!!! they are the first ones to keep sectariansim ! they pretend to defend the constitution while it is written in the constitution...

which politician has ever asked to FULLY implement the constitution or TAEF concerning this issue? NO ONE..... so please spare us your defense of secularism by christians or shias! LOL!!!

Missing VINCENT 30 June 2013, 01:00

Well said Phoenix. There is always a common thread of factual basis and careful/thoughtful explanation in your analyses.