The Lebanese model is indicative of the importance of state weakness, which is possibly a necessary stage for other countries in the region after decades of absolutist domination in the name of the state.
Throughout the 20th century, the Arab world has always found itself operating either within an Islamist or nationalist framework. Despite political conflict between the two – sometimes even bloody – the existence of one is inevitably linked to the other.
The fierce debate and the war of certainties that persisted around the uprising between the defenders of militarization on the one hand, and those weeping over peacefulness on the other, had little meaning.
It is well known by now that those sorts of [external] legitimacies function for nothing further than oppressing local voices and crushing and preventing politics, to place themselves as the guardian of the local “under-developed” populations that protects them from each other. As well as the protector of the “external source of legitimacy” from the worrying turbulences of local conflicts. That is precisely what had been done under the Asads and what goes on to be repeated by the likes of al-Baghdadi and Saleh Muslim, and a few others who have not emerged with a comprehensive project yet.
The issue at hand is no longer about changing the regime, which was the goal of the revolution, but about instituting a change with the regime, which is the goal of negotiations. Change with the regime ultimately means enabling the regime to bypass the changes and continue as it was.