Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Amine Gemayel seeks his late son's vacant ministerial seat ... and hopes to represent Lebanon at the Damascus Summit

In AsSafir, here


Anonymous said...

Lebanon is in a 'happy state'. The leadership of the ruling coalition or loyalists as they like to identify themselves (muwalat) is a coalition of convicted murderers, mass murderers, embezzlers, and drug addicts. They have the gall to postulate representing Lebanon at the forthcoming summit. They claim they are the democratically elected government. As Bilal Saab says somewhere else on this blog, their presence in power is due to gerrymandering in the electoral law. What Bilal Saab is not saying is that the electoral alliance with their opponents (Hezbollah and Amal) gave them over 15 MPs they would not have dreamt of getting without such alliance. Needless to say that they broke their alliance almost the next day after elections and the government headed by Siniura was formed. Having lost any support among Lebanese they resort to stir up sectarian fears. Mr Hariri has no political program but to tell his Sunni constituency that the Shiites are about to take over. In this matter, he is in tune with the 'moderates' of the Arab world. As for Jumblat, his political program is an array of insults. For the convicted murderer welcomed at the White House and the United Nations his program is still creating a Maronite state in Maronistan. Where is that, only God knows. Geagea cannot stand the idea that Michel Aoun is the true elected leader of Maronites. Come the former president whose mandate was characterized by failures at all levels, he has developed a sincere and well developed credibility problem. Nobody can believe anything he says. So this is the coalition that sits poised to rule Lebanon without any partners from the local communities.
On the other hand, the opposition may have the right choices in political orientations but their political conduct has been at best lacking. The Hezbollah has waged a successful opposition to Israeli and US designs in the region but have quite failed at dealing with domestic politics. They should not have entered the political arena ruled by thugs and murderers and liars of all sorts. THeir image has been tarnished.
As to Amal, they have a major credibility problem to rally support around them. People (mostly Sunnis) did not forget their stance against Palestinians in 1985 and their rape of Beirut in 1984 and 1985. THeir discourse is not different from that of the Mustaqbal in sectarianism yet their opposition to Israel seems to get them a 'pass'.
As to Michel Aoun, he has the right ideas but the wrong attitude. He still does have a commanding grasp on the Maronite political leadership but his hot headedness is not winning him friends.
As to Jumblat, what can one say to someone who says one thing in the morning and the opposite at noon to come to his morning position in the evening. He is distraught, angry, fearful as he should be. The Druzes are not really well served by his leadership.
We are a very long way in being out of the woods.

mo said...

I concur with most of the above.

Jumblat, if all the "rumours" are correct, displays all the paranoid indecisivness of a habitual drug user and his positions I think are based entirely on the his state of being at any given time. Thats why the US is now making Geagea their front man. I dont think even M14 trust Jumbalt now. Yesterday, relations with Hizballah were "at a point of no return". Whats the bet that as soon as the wind changes, he wont think relations are all that bad.

As for Amal, I don't think their resistance to Israel is what gets them the "pass". Berri's place among the opposition is an unfortunate accident of history I think.

Hizballahs decision to avoid an inter-Shia battle in the early 90's when Amal still had some support amongst the Shia and more importantly, were Syrias pet militia. The more popular Hizballah got, the more Berri needed to remain attached to them to keep any kind of political credibility, especially with the Syrians making sure he kept the speaker job. He will get to keep the job after the next elections (if they happen) but will be expected to "retire" in the parliament after that.

I totaly agree that Hizballah have not played the political game effectively. Most importantly, they have, in order to counter the extremist image they have thrust uponm them, been to accomodating in their political allegiances; First with Amal, then with Hariri(R) and then with the M14.

But then again, we may be wrong. Had Aoun and nasrallah been able to reach an understanding before the 2005 elections its entirely possible that the Saudis would have been alarmed enough to gives us 10 times the trouble they are giving us now.