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How Lebanon overcame 6 years of a useless President: Michel Suleiman

Note: updated post of 2014

How this Insipid President vacated the Palace? Account in banks by the millions, Not accounting for 2 dozens luxury cars, gifts from Qatar and Saudi Kingdom and many newly built villas

During the presidency of Suleiman,  no government was formed in less than 200 days, the recent government needed 395 days of gestation.

Lebanon ridiculous shadow State.

This ex-president Michel Suleiman, the President of the Void per excellence: no one cried when he vacated the Palace, accompanied by 10 new luxury cars of his own, free from taxes.

Suleiman was dreaming of extending his tenure 2 more years, as the Parliament did last year and robbed the citizens from their democratic rights, as did the ex-president Emil Lahoud, as did the late ex- president Hrawi…

The hopes of Suleiman were dashed since his passive practices and antagonistic positions on Hezbollah alienated the Shiaa and most of the Lebanese patriots.

Three months ago, in desperation, Suleiman referred to Hezbollah as talking with a “wooden tongue” since the resistance insisted on the strategic line of “People, Army and Resistance

In order to demonstrate that he can still deliver on his promises (6 years overdue) if given two more years, Saudi Arabia and the US gave the green light to the designated PM Saad Hariri, head of the Mustakbal (Future) movement, to help constitute a government that was 395 days in waiting.

The government started with a flurry of decisions, like imposing a climate of security in the city of Tripoli and the regions bordering Syria in the Bekaa Valley and appointed a dozen high-level public servants.

The public service was denied the  appointment of key personnel for a decade and the services in Lebanon were almost non-existent.

The professors and teachers in the public universities were left in the void and the government replaced the University Council in appointing and controlling every decision concerning the universities.

Suleiman delivered a farewell speech suggesting dozens of constitutional reforms and failed to deliver on his promises for decentralized administration, a project that was studied and finished when he took office, and alienated many parties and organization to boost the economy that has been experiencing a drastic slump for the last 3 years.

He also promised a fair election law, something related to proportional representation, but never acted on it.

He failed in extending rights to women or appointing more women in top posts.

Suleiman failed to efficiently control the flood of Syrian refugees, more than 1.25 million and constituting a third of the population, and allowed the Syrian insurgents to free flow and cross the Lebanese borders to Syria.

In essence, in 6 years, Suleiman cannot be remembered of creating any institution or bolstering any existing institution.

Suleiman was army chief when the Lebanese political leaders met in Do7a (Qatar) to decide on a replacement “neutral” Maronite  president to “lead” the country for 6 years.

On May 7, 2008 Hezbollah counter-attacked the decisions of the government to clip its control on the airport security and land communication lines. The government retracted and Hezbollah succeeded in closing down a dozen of Israeli safe havens for their agents and security offices disguised as providing civil guards to businesses and personalities.

Consequently, with ex-President Lahoud, already out with a vacant Presidential chair, and a government out of function, Qatar angered Saudi Arabia by inviting the Lebanese leaders to meet in Doha and arranged for a compromise President. And Suleiman sat on the chair of the presidency.

In democratic countries, the leader of the largest parliamentary deputies is the one selected to lead. Not in Lebanon with 19 officially recognized religious castes. That was the huge error of Michel Aoun to bow down on a right he deserved and allowed Suleiman to be President.

Lebanon is a parliamentary system: Nothing is run without the parliament approval, even in the executive or judiciary. But the leader of the largest group is not necessarily the de facto leader: The consensus of the two third of the deputies is required.

As the uprising started in Syria, the propaganda claimed that the regime of Bashar Assad will not last two months. And Suleiman put all his eggs in that basket of “after Bashar” regime and refrained from securing Lebanon’s borders from the infiltration of the Syrian insurgents and refugees.

For two years, Lebanon was the main source for supplying the insurgents in Homs with weapons and medical supplies, and the Syrian insurgents established bases in Lebanon in the north and in the city of Tripoli.

The Lebanese army was not covered politically to establish security in Tripoli, and Tripoli was plagued with 20 rounds of civil wars within a year.

And Lebanon experienced waves of suicide car explosion attacks for 4 months due to the open borders that the army was denied the responsibility to close and control

Suleiman filled a vacant chair and left the chair vacant: The Parliament failed to elect a new President to Lebanon.

And Lebanon has no President. And this event will keep recurring. As the frequency of Lebanon having no governments.

And no decision can be legitimate without the President review and signature.

Suleiman vacated the Palace with dozens of villas newly built for him and his family members, and $1.6 million in an account in Amsterdam Bank. All the expensive watches that he received in gifts were sold, many of them are in the black market. All these financial information were exposed in the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar.

And Suleiman satisfied the policies of US in the Near East, and consequently he can rest assured that he will not be prosecuted for any kinds of embezzlement or any kinds of political harassment or denied visas or any headaches

In this total void, and the illegitimacy of the highest institutions to properly function, Israel is increasing its violations on the southern borders.

Pretty soon, Hezbollah would set up a trap to the incursions of Israeli troops. And Israel will be faced with a hard decision on how to respond. And the Lebanese will be convinced that all the shouting of relying on the State is totally unfounded and premature.

Note: It is 2019. Sure the current President Michel Aoun, another former general of the army, a former appointed Prime minister during the civil war, an elected deputy, founder of the Tayyar party, exiled to France after the colonial powers decided to let Syria be the mandated power (1991 till 2005), while Israel was to occupy south Lebanon till it was forced to withdraw in 2000 without any precondition…

Finally, the majority of the parties in the Parliament agreed to have Aoun President since he had the vast majority of the “Christian” deputies. A new election law and a new election for the chamber of deputies (same figures and same hereditary tradition…).  The budget formally voted on since 2008, many tentative reform laws that have Not been applied…

And now a monster march/demonstration since October 17, 2019 that refuses to quit the streets in Beirut and several other cities, demanding a change in the political system (controlled since 1993 by the mafia/militia “leaders” of the civil war).  Promises, promises…

And the people are hungry, frustrated, trampled on, no electricity, no water, no resolution for the multiple kinds of pollution, no resolution for waste disposal, unclean water ways and seashore, no jobs, highest density of refugees, crumbling financial situation, high dept ($100 bn), no economic infrastructure, expensive services of all kinds

And No viable alternatives pointing in the horizon.

Catastrophic Constitutional Vacuum in Lebanon? Lebanese don’t care...

When Lebanese President Michel Suleiman’s term ended on May 25, he left a vacuum that some fear could further erode the influence of Christians in a turbulent region consumed with sectarian infighting.

 of FoxNews.com published this June 2, 2014

lebanonpres.jpg

Sleiman’s  (tacit “constitutional”) post has traditionally been held by a Christian, in the delicate sectarian balance of a nation made up of (19 officially recognized religious sects).

Currently, the vast majority of the population of Shiite Muslims is supported by Iran. The Sunni Muslims are mainly backed by Saudi Arabia.

Five attempts by parliament to reach a deal to fill the presidency have failed, leaving an impasse that not only exacerbates political and social polarization in the country, but also weakens the Christian community in the Middle East, where Christian presence is rapidly disappearing.

“With Lebanon you can never tell when the combination of internal struggle and external regional struggle will fuse together in a combustible way,” says New York University Middle East expert Mohamad Bazzi.

“The more instability and insecurity in Lebanon, the more likely there will be violence in car bombs and potentially worse. The Lebanese Christians are also watching the fate of fellow Christians in Syria, the violence against them from Sunni jihadists.”

David Hale, the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, urged Lebanon to seize the opportunity “to elect a new president without allowing any other country to dictate the results.” (And what was the purpose of Kerry’s visit to Lebanon, coinciding with election in Syria?)

The Lebanese people need leadership “made in Lebanon,” he said. “The price of a power is “simply too high. The United States supports this Lebanese process.”

As part of the Taif Agreement, a national reconciliation accord that ended Lebanon’s civil war (1975-1990), Maronite Christians, who had historically held the presidency and appointed the government, maintained the position of head of state but were forced to hand over the leadership of the government to the Sunnis.

The Christian president retains powers such as making recommendations for top military posts and the signing of international treaties, but he needs the prime minister’s cabinet approval. A Shiite always hold the position of speaker of parliament. (Nabih Berri, a civil war warlord, has been holding that post for 3 decades now)

This power-sharing arrangement, based on demographics in 1989, forced the Christians, who had historically been in charge of appointing the country’s prime minister, to accept that they had lost their majority to the Muslims after 1 million Lebanese, mostly Christians, emigrated during Lebanon’s civil war.

“The Lebanese Christians are also watching the fate of fellow Christians in Syria, the violence against them from Sunni jihadists,” says Bazzi, explaining why many Christians in Lebanon and Syria have chosen to side with Hezbollah by fighting on the side of the Syrian government of Bashar Assad.

“Christian communities like historic Maaloula have been decimated by al-Nusra and other Sunni militants. For the Christians the Assad regime is the best worst option because at least Assad won’t want to eliminate the Christians.”

Hezbollah and its Christian political allies hold more than one-third (how about more than half?) of the cabinet seats of the Lebanese government. This consolidation of power potentially gives them the ability to overthrow the government. Lebanon has already lost core components of statehood to Hezbollah, which brazenly follows its own military and foreign policy.

Hezbollah’s political camp has boycotted parliamentary sessions to elect the president, claiming that they want a “consensus candidate” rather than the “provocative candidate” (another warlord Samir Geaja who served 11 years of a prison term) the Mustakbal Sunnis want.

Among a field of potential Christian leaders who seek the presidency are heavy-hitters from rival camps. Samir Geagea heads the Lebanese Forces, one of 12 parties that belong to March 14, an alliance of  Christian militia groups and the Saudi-backed Sunni Future Movement, based on the date of a massive rally that pressured Syria to end its occupation of Syria. (It was the Tayyar movement of Gen. Michel Aoun that brought this massive rally)

Of the candidates, he is the most outspoken critic of Hezbollah, running on a platform of independence from Iranian and Syrian interference (but not from independence of Israel and the USA)

Geagea’s main rival is Gen. Michel Aoun, who leads the Free Patriotic Movement that is part of the March 8 alliance (the date of a huge pro-Hezbollah demonstration), an Iran-Syrian-backed coalition of Hezbollah, Amal, another Shiite militia whose leader is Nabih Berri, the current speaker of parliament. March 14 accuses Aoun of being a stooge for Hezbollah.

“Difficulty at filling the post of head of state, which takes a two-thirds majority in parliament, is not new to Lebanon,” says popular Lebanese Christian politician Ziyad Baroud, who served as minister of interior and municipalities for two consecutive governments.

Despite sectarian problems facing Lebanon, Baroud believes that moderate Christians, Druze and Sunni and Shiite Muslims can work together to build a democratic country (if the political climate around Lebanon permit it?)

“Christians play a role of moderation in Lebanon,” according to Baroud, who hopes the current presidential vacuum leads to the selection of a leader who will work to unify the nation. “At a time when there are major problems in the region, it is good timing for Lebanon to offer an example of living together in peaceful coexistence. Christians, more than any other community, have historical responsibility to carry this into the future. 

Lebanon’s presidential crisis of today comes with tremendous internal and external pressures.

Over the past year, Lebanese Sunni jihadis and their rivals Hezbollah have been battling each other in Syria, and the violence has spilled over into Lebanon with at least 16 car bombs and a spate of assassinations. Compounding this unrest are the more than 1 million refugees, mostly Sunni, from the civil war in Syria.

The refugees have increased Lebanon’s population by close to 25% (how about 40%?), creating social pressures and altering the sectarian balance in the small nation. “Try to imagine the United States or France suddenly ending up with an additional 25 percent of their population to cope with, “ says Baroud. “When you add it to the Palestinian refugees, you can imagine what is the impact on this country.”

Staying out of the Syrian civil war is arguably the most critical challenge for Lebanon. “The proxy war that the Saudis (backed by the US and western European States) and Iranians are playing in Syria has unleashed forces that they cannot completely control, both in Syria and the broader region,” says Mohamad Bazzi, who points out that the rival Muslim powers are deeply involved in promoting their agendas in Lebanon.

“The Saudis and Iranians are crafty and can instigate things, but they cannot always control it. When the genie is out of the bottle, you might not be able to put it back in,” Bazzi warns. “That is the case of Syria and the potential danger for Lebanon.”

It may be weeks, even months, until a president takes office in one of the most challenging political environments on Earth and dangerous, too.

There is a long list of assassinated Lebanese political figures — from mayors to prime ministers to presidents. “I don’t have fear,” says Baroud. “The fact that we are still in Lebanon and feel something can be done is what matters. It is not about rational thinking, it is about feelings.”

(And what are these feeling? Of utter disgust of this pseudo State?)

Note: Those parties who refuse to elect Gen. Michel Aoun (leader of the far largest Christian block in the Parliament) have been hinting that Hezbollah (ally to Aoun movement) is blocking an election of a President in order to reform the Taef Agreement and have the Shiaa be represented politically as constituting the third of the population (this sect is actually 50% of the population).

Hassa Nasr Allah said in his recent speech that it was the French who suggested this reform a few years ago, but Hezbollah has no intention of demanding such kind of power sharing.

Insipid President (The Void) vacated Palace: Filled the vacant chair and left it vacant. Account in banks by the millions

Lebanon ridiculous shadow State.

This ex-president is Michel Suleiman, the President of the Void per excellence: no one cried when he vacated the Palace, accompanied by 10 new luxury cars of his own, free from taxes.

Suleiman dreamt of extending his tenure 2 more years, as the Parliament did last year and robbed the citizens from their democratic rights, as did the ex-president Lahoud, as did the late ex- president Hrawi…

The hopes of Suleiman were dashed since his passive practices and antagonistic positions on Hezbollah alienated the Shiaa and most of  Lebanese patriots. Three months ago, in desperation, Suleiman referred to Hezbollah as talking with a “wooden mouth” since the resistance insisted on the strategic line of “People, Army and Resistance

In order to demonstrate that he can still deliver on his promises (6 years overdue) if given two more years, Saudi Arabia and the US gave the green light to the Mustakbal (Future) movement of Saad Hariri to help constitute a government that was 395 days in waiting.

The government started with a flurry of decisions, like imposing a climate of security in the city of Tripoli and the regions bordering Syria in the Bekaa Valley and appointed a dozen high-level public servants.

The public service was denied the  appointment of key personnel for a decade and the services in Lebanon were almost non-existent.

The professors and teachers in the public universities were left in the void and the government replaced the University Council in appointing and controlling every decision concerning the universities.

During Suleiman warming of the Chair, no government was formed in less than 200 days, the recent government needed 395 days of gestation.

Suleiman delivered a farewell speech suggesting dozens of constitutional reforms and failed to deliver on his promises for decentralized administration, a project that was finished when he took office, and alienated many parties and organization to boost the economy that has been experiencing a drastic slump for the last 3 years.

He also promised a fair election law, something related to proportional representation, but never acted on it.

He failed in extending rights to women or appointing more women in top posts.

Suleiman failed to efficiently control the flood of Syrian refugees, more than 1.25 million and constituting a third of the population, and allowed the Syrian insurgents free flowing and crossing of the Lebanese borders.

In essence, in 6 years, Suleiman cannot be remembered of creating any institution or bolstering any existing institution.

Suleiman was army chief when the Lebanese political leaders met in Do7a (Qatar) to decide on a replacement “neutral” Maronite  president to “lead” the country for 6 years.

On May 7, Hezbollah counter-attacked the decisions of the government to clip its control on the airport security and land communication lines. The government retracted and Hezbollah succeeded in closing down a dozen of Israeli safe havens for their agents and security offices disguised as providing civil guards to businesses and personalities.

Consequently, with ex-President Lahoud, already out with a vacant Presidential chair, and a government out of function, Qatar angered Saudi Arabia by inviting the Lebanese leaders to meet in Doha and arranged for a compromise President. And Suleiman sat on the chair of the presidency.

In democratic countries, the leader of the largest parliamentary deputies is the one selected to lead. Not in Lebanon with 19 officially recognized religious castes.

Lebanon is a parliamentary system: Nothing is run without the parliament approval, even in the executive or judiciary. But the leader of the largest group is not necessarily the de facto leader: The consensus of the two third of the deputies is required.

As the uprising started in Syria, the propaganda claimed that the regime of Bashar Assad will not last two months. And Suleiman put all his eggs in tha basket of “after Bashar” and refrained from securing Lebanon’s borders from the infiltrations of the Syrian insurgents and refugees.

For two years, Lebanon was the main source for supplying the insurgents in Homs with weapons and medical supplies, and the Syrian insurgents established bases in Lebanon in the north and in the city of Tripoli.

The Lebanese army was not covered politically to established security in Tripoli, and Tripoli was plagued with 20 rounds of civil wars within a year.

And Lebanon experienced waves of suicide car explosion attacks for 4 months due to the open borders that the army was denied the responsibility to close and control

He filled a vacant chair and left the chair vacant: The Parliament failed to elect a new President to Lebanon.

And Lebanon has no President. And this event will keep recurring. As the frequency of Lebanon having no governments.

And no decision can be legitimate without the President review and signature.

Suleiman vacated the Palace with dozens of villas newly built for him and his family members, and $1.6 million in an account in Amsterdam Bank. All the expensive watches that he received in gifts were sold, many of are in the black market. All these financial information were exposed in the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar.

And Suleiman satisfied the policies of US in the Near East, and consequently he can rest assured that he will not be prosecuted for any kinds of embezzlement or any kinds of political harassment or denied visas or any headaches

In this total void, and the illegitimacy of the highest institutions to properly function, Israel is increasing its violations on the southern borders. Pretty soon, Hezbollah would set up a trap to the incursions of Israeli troops. And Israel will be faced with a hard decision on how to respond. And the Lebanese will be convinced that all the shouting of relying on the State is totally unfounded and premature.

How to educate a prime idiot in less than six months? (Nov. 3, 2009)

The idiot Saad Hariri, designated to form a government in Lebanon, needs more time to be educated politically on the complex Lebanese political and social system.  Since 2005, after the assassination of Rafic Hariri, the Hariri clan was busy finding a successor to Rafic.  The eldest son declined a political career and opted for the thriving business part of the clan.  Saad was the second choice; he was totally apolitical and ignorant about Lebanon (he is Saudi by birth and citizenship) and had to be educated on Lebanon’s realities and social structures.

Since 2005, Saad has been a student in Lebanese politics and failed to graduate yet. He allowed Seniora PM to guide and manage the clan interests in Lebanon’s politics.  Seniora PM grabbed all sectors that generate money, which belonged to various ministries, under an umbrella of sectors attached to the Prime Minister.

Saad was given a failing cards two months after he was appointed to form a government in the June 2009 parliamentary election; he couldn’t even form a government though he had received 92 votes out of 124 deputies to facilitate his job.  Saad was asked again to form a government with only 72 votes the next time around.  So far, five months were not enough for Saad to grasp what to do next after being selected to form a government.  You might think that the task is obvious: just forming a stupid government.

No, idiot Saad wants to know how the government is to function after it is formed before he deigns to preside it.  Saad wants to know before hand how every problem is to be resolved without the need of 30 heads of ministers dialoguing and discussing problems plaguing Lebanon for over 6 months: Lebanon is currently a State running without a government and just taking care of daily routines with no decision power for serious events that are bound to wreck havoc on the Lebanese.

Saad wants to resolve the Hezbollah’s military dominance before forming a government, even though a Round Table of all the sectarian political parties was established two years ago to discuss this problem.  Saad would not relinquish the Treasury that has been controlled by his clan since 1993.  Sad is taking all his time forming a government simply because the Taef Constitution didn’t allocate a time restriction on forming governments.

The President of Lebanon, Michel Suleiman, would like us to believe that he is totally impotent to resolving this insane deadlock. So far, the President of the Republic is emulating US Barak Obama: all rhetoric and no actions.

How much longer Saad Harriri needs to be educate on Lebanese systems before another sectarian stupid government is to be born?

Bi-Weekly Report (#21) on the Middle East and Lebanon (May 9, 2009)

 

            The US Administration keeps flopping between the policy of a peace treaty (Israel/ Syria) first or a Palestinian homeland in the Near East.  So far, the US Administration has changed priority more than once in a single month and the US delegates are crusing the regions for a hint and a suggestion while carrying all kinds of tentative projects.  The energumen Israeli foreign affairs minister, investigated for criminal activities by the Israeli police, is visiting a few European States to confirm his opposition for a Palestinian State.  Thus, the US is pleasuring Israel by shifting its priority to (Israel/Syria) peace treaty first.

            Anyone of these projects to take off there are powerful regional powers to satisfy.  For Syria there are Iran and Turkey that should cooperate fully and sign their agreements.  Iran would pressure the US first, to handle the nuclear arm policy equitably since Israel owns one too many nuclear arms; and second, that the treaty preserves unconditionally the sovereignity of Syria in the Golan Heights. This is no longer a State to State treaty but a regional status of dignity that no usurper is to enjoy advantages by military forces.

  1. Turkey would insists that France drops her veto to a potential attachement of Turkey to the European Union; otherwise, why Turkey would go at such length and effort to get re-immersed in regional quagmires?   The other condition of Turkey is that Moslem Syria is not pressured into “losing face” and thus, exacerbates the sense of humiliation and desperation that the Arab World has been subjugated to for centuries.

 

            One policy that the US Adminstration has decided on and is executing with the support of the Pakistany army and government is to defeating the military power of the Taliban style ideology in norther Pakistan.  Pakistan is the main source of instability in order to re-arrange the Greater Middle East stability.  I hope that the Barak Administration has already extended its military policy in Pakistan into including the social and economic stability and viability of the Pakistani State.  Pakistan is worth heavy investment in money and time until the Taliban (Wahhabit) ideology is contained and controlled.

 

            For the Palestinian homestate to take off there are Egypt and Saudi Arabia to be satisfied, assuming that Syria has signed a peace treaty with Israel.  Egypt would insist that first, its enjoys the status of the most preferred nation in Gaza, kind of practical mandate if not diplomatically; and second, that Israel relinquishes any kinds of controls in the Palestinian State that Egypt might be denied, and third, (during the Mubarak dictatorship) that Hamas is not to be the most powerful faction in the Palestinian government and Parliament: Mubarak understands that the “Moslem Brotherhood” party in Egypt has more legitimacy among the population than his regime.

            Saudi Arabia would insists that the clerics to the Mosques that it invested in building or maintaining in Palestine be hired by the wahhabit sect and answering directly to the “fatwas” emanating from the Capital Riad.

 

            The President of Lebanon, Michel Suleiman, has declared yesterday that after the Parliamentary election in June 7 the Dawha agreement will have been satistisfied and the Taef Constitution will be applied: The winning coalition in the parliament will govern and the losers will oppose.  The leader of the Tayyar al Horr (Change and Reform Party), and currently the dominant “Christian” representative in the parliament, General Michel Aoun has been promoting the advent of the Third Republic to replace the governing system imposed on Lebanon since 1993 during the Syrian mandate and after the withdrawal of the Syrian troops in 2005.  The polls favor the opposition (Tayyar, Hezbolah, and Amal) to gaining 65 deputies out of 120. 

Michel Aoun has decided to run in the district of Jezzine (a Christian enclave) with his list of 3 candidates when all the attempts for an agreement with Berri failed.  Berri is the Chairman of the Parliament and the leader of the Shiaa Amal Party that represented the Shiaa during the civil war but was supplanted by Hezbollah.  Berri understands that his weight and standing in the political structure are solely based on heading the parliament and all his machinations are to securing this post that he chaired for over 20 years.

Regardless of the wining coalition, the Taef Agreement will be re-applied in its entirety with various success and time span. For example, a second confessional Partiament of the 19 religious sects will be formed so that the popular Parliament will be elected devoid of sectarianism and hopefully according to a new law based on relative percentages (nisbiyya) and not on majority.

If the Tayyar returns with additional gains into the Parliament then the application of Taef Constitution will accelerate with modification after substantial lapse of time such as providing the President of Republic additional leverage and imposing time constraint on the government (mainly the Prime Minister) to ratifying decision as it is imposed of the President.

In case the Tayyar loses then a dangerous cycle await Lebanon with end results of sharing power not on the basis of 50/50 between the Moslem sects and the Christian sects but on the basis of three major sects, the Shiaa (the most populous), the Sunni, and a combination of the Maronite and Christian Orthodox. 

  1. Lebanon is a precarious State depending on many foreign interests in the Middle East and not specifically for the sake of Lebanon.   In any case, a stable Lebanon is connected with a stable Syria that is satisfied with Lebanon’s foreign administration of relations. The fundamental interests of Syria cannot be circumvented and supersede the USA if Lebanon is to enjoy security and stability.

Let us try an honorific Caliphate for the Presidency of the Republic. (written in Dec. 10, 2007)

I described in a previous article the responsibilities of the President to the Republic after the Taif Constitution to be mostly honorific and that the Christian Maronite sectarian caste has devalued to third in rank after the Moslem Sunny and Chi3a castes.

In my article “Who care for the office of President to the Republic” I foresaw that this office is no longer that practically essential, and if it was left vacant for a while then no immediate disaster will befall Lebanon.

Former President Emile Lahoud kept threatening that he will not permit the Seniora PM government to administer the Republic after he leaves the Palace.

Well, Lahoud vacated silently and surreptitiously on November 23rd with no decisions how the State should be managed.  And the office has been vacant since then, and the Palace closed to visitors, even to tourists whom forgot to visit Lebanon this year also. And the government resumed its course…

In Lebanon caste system, the Moslem political leaders were the real leaders of their respective castes, and their appointed clergies were basically the mouthpiece, and usually cover their current political leaders for unity.

The reverse is happening for the Maronite caste: historically and for centuries the Maronite clergy tried to control its political leaders and evinced them in crucial events, even fomenting the peasants to revolt against their feudal Christian lords.  Presently, the Maronite caste is split between two political leaders, Michel Aoun of the Tayyar party and Samir Geaja of the Lebanese Forces.

Although the current Maronite Patriarch, Nasr Allah Sfeir, had been burned more than once before, after nominating candidates to the Republic and being turned down, he slipped again: he could not help but to follow the suggestion of the European emissaries to form a list of eligible candidates, which he did to the outcry of all the potential Maronite candidates.

General Michel Aoun sent the Patriarch and the Council of the Bishops emissary after emissary warning them not to meddle in the political process for the election of a Maronite President to the Republic to no avail.  General Aoun was prompted to clarify who is the de-facto political Patriarch for the Maronite caste.

Within Lebanon caste system General Aoun is the political Patriarch of the Maronite; not only for the number of Maronite deputies in the Parliament that represent his party but also because of his clear and transparent views and because he has proved that he stands undaunted against all odds and pressures from the West and the media dominated by the government allies.

Just tonight, General and deputy Aount has announced to the Lebanese to enjoy the Adha and Christmas Holidays in peace and security because there will be no election for a President until after the vacation.  General Aoun is adamant that no election will take place before a political comprehensive understanding has been agreed upon by the government’s allies and the opposition forces.

Democracies in the developed States might view these preconditions as anathema, but Lebanon is not a democratic States: Lebanon is a caste political system, not constitutionally but according to an ancient National Pact of 1943, and governed by accord among the main castes.

If the ancient and old Maronite Patriarch is overwhelmed by events, and just administering the political situation through Sunday speeches at mass and forming lists of potential candidates, the political Patriarch Aoun is much more aware of the weak position of the Maronites at this phase of the game and wants to re-establish the real responsibilities and duties to the position of the President.

The successive troika or triumvirate rulers (late Rafik Hariri, Nabih Berri, and Elias Hrawi) of Lebanon from 1993 to 2003 are not to the advantage of the people: It is an oligarchic mechanism for splitting the spoils of the treasury among the political leaders of five basic castes.

Practically, in this Lebanon caste system, even a strong President with sufficient backing in the Parliament is bound to get immersed in troika ruling of the State for the economy to move forward and important laws to be passed.

The difference between a weak President with no substantial deputy backing and a strong President is a matter of quantitative advantages but no qualitative jump for long lasting security and stability.

The main qualitative advantage of a strong President is to using the Presidential pulpit to politically educating the citizens with frankness, facts and firm stands for what is right and honorable. General Aoun has proven to have the qualifications of a strong qualitative President.

People justify our recurring political instabilities to the complex trades among the leaders and castes for prime offices.  Our system is not that complicated at all: it is plainly pretty simple and lazy. If we try permutations to the prime offices among the castes then we may applaud our boldness to experiment with fairness and confidence as a people.

Maybe before Lebanon experiment with an alternative political system that is more in affinity with Western democracies let us try a few permutations on our current system. Let the Presidency be the honorific position of Caliphate in permutation among the Koraichi Sunny, the Abbasi Chiite and Wahhabi Khawariji and then let the Christian castes experiment with the functions of Prime Minister in permutation among their castes.

We might be lacking political rationality after recognizing that our caste system is not functional and still persist in our short-shortsightedness for lack of courage to change and experiment for a working alternative.

At least, if we were a vital people we would have applied the trial and error method; whatever errors might results from our endeavors it wouldn’t be as nefarious as the calamities befalling us since our Independence in 1943.

Note:  The army general for operation, Francois Hajj, was assassinated in B3abda.  General Hajj was the strongest candidate to replace Michel Suleiman as head of the army in case general Suleiman was selected for president to the Republic.  Deputy Michel Aoun warned that this assassination might be covered up by the government as the dozen other assassinations.

We have two major vacancies to fill for important offices now and it appears that our political and security situation is exacerbated and our holidays are shot.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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