A Strong President Who Can Resist External Pressure

A Strong President Who Can Resist External Pressure

Nida Al Watan, Lebanon, January 22

In his recent speech, Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of Hizbullah, has called for a brave president who will not be intimidated by the United States. But will Nasrallah accept a president who is equally unafraid to challenge Nasrallah’s own party and its policies? Will he accept a president who opposes the Iranian government’s violations of Lebanese sovereignty? A president who refuses to condone Iranian aggression in the region and who stands up for Arab interests? These questions come to mind as we consider the recent tweet from former Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi congratulating his country’s football team for winning the Arabian Gulf Cup, which took place in the Iraqi city of Basra. Kadhimi has been committed to restoring Iraq’s sovereignty, implementing a comprehensive strategy to develop the country, and investing in alternative energy sources and gas extraction. He has sought to establish connections with Iraq’s neighbors based on identity, belonging, interest, and destiny. He has reminded the Arab world that Iraq is a neighbor, not a follower and that it is committed to the interests of its people and its regional partners. In contrast, Hizbullah has sought to blur the lines between Lebanon and Iran, turning Lebanon into an Iranian suburb. The most recent example is the Qasem Soleimani International Prize for Resistance Literature handed out by Hizbullah in Beirut. It is clear that a president who understands and respects these issues is necessary to ensure a secure future for Lebanon. This president must be unafraid of both the United States and Iran and understand the importance of Arab sovereignty and identity. A true leader will not be intimidated by either superpower and will be able to make the decisions necessary to protect Lebanon and its people. –Sanaa Al-Jack (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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