Adonis Diaries

On Lebanon (revisited)

Posted on: November 4, 2008

October report on Lebanon (November 2, 2008)


Politics in Lebanon is like the weather condition in Southern California: all you need is a brief report by the end of the month stating “sunny clear skies, but hot hot hot!”  Indeed, it is always very hot for the citizens who are experiencing all kinds of hardships and mismanagement but very sunny for the politicians. Go figure, hundreds upon hundred of politicians, deputies and ministers leading the high life for being totally redundant.

October witnessed a heavy schedule for all kinds of detours. The President to the Republic Michel Suleiman visited head of States around the world; from France, to Syria, to Saudi Arabia, to Italy, to the Vatican, to Canada, to the USA, and the UN. The Prime Minister Seniora would not be outdone but his visits are mainly for private business representing the Hariri clan interests in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait. General Aoun visited Iran for a week and linked up with the most influential regional power.  Samir Geaja was hosted by Egypt to receive strict orders to cooling off the political climate.  Saad Hariri is sleeping in his private jet and barely visits in “second homeland” Lebanon.

The second kind of activities relates to a caste system scheme of dual (peaceful understanding meetings) “mousalahat” between the various political caste leaders.  The purpose of these dual meetings is to reach a comprehensive plan for rigging the next parliamentary election so that the two alliances (government and opposition) obtain equal numbers of deputies (60 deputies each) and so that the President of the Republic be allotted 8 deputies. The undersecretary to the Egyptian secret services visited for a week Lebanon to confirm the agreement of the regional powers to that deal.  The most ridiculous drama is that all these leaders still claim that the next election is the crux of the matter: it should be most crucial for Lebanon because it will guide the strategies of this tiny State for decades to come!

For the time being, the leaders of Hezbollah (Shiaa) and The Future Movement or Mustakbal (Sunni) have finally met face to face.  The second line leaders of Hezbollah and Druze Walid Jumblatt met several times.  The real difficulty is among the Christian political leaders of General Michel Aoun, Suliman Frangieh and Samir Geaja.  The main problem is not related to the dogmatic stands of their respective Parties but mainly to the figure of Geaja.  Geaja had already served over 11 years of prison terms for assassinating a Prime Minister, the father and mother of Suleiman Frangieh, and for waging a brutal war against the Lebanese army.  Without Geaja leading the Lebanese Forces Party there would be no problems on meeting and reconciliation.

What about the hundreds upon hundreds of political “leaders” and small political parties?  Well, they are stooges (comparses), including the leaders of the clergies of 18 sects.

What about the ministers in this “National Coalition” government?  The main figure is the Minister of the Interior so that he may appose his stamp proclaiming fairness in the election process and that it was conducted in due form according to the new laws.  So far, it is the new young ministers who are working the hardest: a hint for the successive governments who claim reforms to renew old faces with highly educated and active potentials.

The third kind of activities is defining the responsibilities of the Vice Prime Minister so that the Orthodox Christian sect would enjoy some kind of standing among the five prominent sects/castes.

November will focus on the general meetings of all the confessional caste leaders under the auspices of the President.  The two secular and oldest political parties will be excluded:  Saudi Arabia and Egypt (through their mouthpiece Saad Hariri) have expressed their desires.  At best, these secular parties might be accepted as auditors and seated on a second row; why not since discussions would not be too heavy and in depth about Lebanon’s strategy but would be more concerned about the next “peaceful” election processes. Politics in Lebanon is a step by step obscurantism for maintaining a fragile and most unstable State.

Syria is strengthening its security along the Lebanese borders: it wants to stop any financed foreign Sunni salafist incursions within its borders (It is established that Lebanese cannot be relied upon to endeavor in terrorist activities). The Baath regime in Syria knows that under this current smog cover of political appeasement that the US and its allies have plans to destabilize and weaken its regime before the withdrawal of the US troops from Iraq.  The US has sent a strong message by attacking a Syrian town on the border with Iraq.  Either Syria goes along smoothly with the plans of a peace treaty with Israel and cooperates fully with the regional powers allied to the US or some kinds of civil war would break out.

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November 2008

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