Everybody knows that in Lebanon every sect is armed or is re-arming. Ever since the Sunni-led governments of Rafik Hariri allowed Hezbollah to retain its weapons after Taef in 1989 under the charade of "resistance", the imbalance of power in Lebanon has been unsettling to say the least.
At the time, around the 1990s, Syria controlled Lebanon with its military and intelligence occupation, and allowing Hezbollah to retain its weapons and run around free to "resist" as it pleased was one way for the Syrians to keep the Lebanese on a short leash.
Now that the Syrians have gone, the "resistance" charade has been uncovered for what it is - namely an Iranian occupation instead of a Syrian one - the time has come for the Lebanese to come clean on one fact: No one has completely disarmed. Not the Palestinians. Not the Sunnis. Not the Christians. And definitely not the Shiites. But of all these groups, only the Christians have kept their word and not used their weapons on the streets. Every protest or demonstration or street clashes or attempt at a power grab or challenges to the central authority was conducted by armed Muslims, including family gangs and smugglers, but never by Christians whose protests never include the use of weapons.
As events in the region are moving toward an escalation, it is time to stop the hypocrisy. The Christian militias should declare their level of arming and come out publicly stating that they too want to "resist" and defend their sect. Instead of playing poodles to the Sunnis (Geagea and Gemayel) and the Shiites (Aoun), the Christians should open training camps, recruit, and arm themselves because the 12th hour is fast appraoching. Cornered by a weakened Iran and Syrian regimes, Hezbollah is likely to engage in suicidal and openly confrontational politics that include military operations against other sects and groups in the country. For example, the current flare-up in Gaza is very likely to draw Hezbollah's 40,000 missiles pointed at Israel from South Lebanon, or even Syria's Assad. Both these parties have seen their base and ideological premises eroded by the Syrian revolution and a weakened Iran, and are therefore likely to see the current situation as a life-saving opportunity from which to regain the upper hand on the claim of fighting the "enemy".
But within Lebanon, nothing less than justice and fairness should drive the process of public re-arming by all groups. If the Islamic fundamentalists of the Sunni camp, the Alawites of Tripoli, the Shiites of Hezbollah and Amal, the pro-Syrian Palestinian terrorists, and every other garbage group or terrorist organization that the weak Lebanese government continues to allow to operate on its soil, if all these people can arm and engage in military confrontations that threaten stability and the progress of Lebanese society toward a modern State (rather than the decrepit sectarian division of power that has paralyzed the country for 4 decades), then the Christians have an equal right to do the same, and they might as well re-arm and be public about it.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the Christian militias (and their own resistance against Syrians, Palestinians, Islamic fundamentalists etc) were blamed for everything that happened in the country. Every son of a bitch in Europe, the United States and other jackass Westerners pitied the "poor" Palestinian refugees of Yaser Arafat who were burning Lebanon to the ground, or pitied the "Dispossessed" Shiites assholes of Hassan Nasrallah because they bore the brunt of Israeli retaliations against the PLO in the south, or found reasonable the Syrian pretext of wanting to protect its flank by invading and occupying Lebanon, .... Now, 40 years later, the Shiites have dispossessed everyone else, have seized power in Lebanon and run the country as an Iranian province. The Palestinians remain armed and shelter more radicalized Al-Qaeda inspired Sunni fundamentalist terror organizations. The Sunnis have the ultimate political power in their holding the Premiership but have been weak and cowardly by not divorcing themselves from the Arab nationalist platform that has devastated Lebanon. But the Christians have played by the rules since 1990, acting exclusively through the political process and not by military means, which has caused them to be sidelined and become irrelevant, at the risk of disappearing not only from the political map but also from the demographic map as thousands of young Christians continue to emigrate from a country that no longer tolerates them.
What did the Christians get in return of their playing by the rules? Assassinations of their political leadership; terrorist bombings such as the latest one in the heart of Christian East Beirut; loss of political power because it is not backed up by military power. Enough is enough. If the Muslims of Lebanon are not going to move away from terror, military solutions, and reliance on outside actors, and engage in a civilized political process, then the Christians will have to, sooner rather than later, return to the military logic of defending themselves and protect one of the last Christian strongholds still standing in the Middle East, with Syria and Iraq having lost most of their Christian population to killings and emigration. Lebanon stands to be the next country to be fully de-Christianized if currents events maintain their momentum. Time for the Christians to re-arm and not be ashamed of it.