Friday, June 29, 2007

Friendly Foes

Politicians in Lebanon are in utter confusion.

Orange Trouble

On one “side”, Der General is perplexed by the Bteghrinator’s reluctance to start an electoral fight in the Metn. Indeed, the Organic Orange’s own Kelem Becile failed to convince their otherwise faithful ally to pick up a fight with the resurgent Falangos whose boss has hopes of re-rising to the Presidency. Yes, in Lebanon, some think that we can recycle our presidents, rather than electing some lesser mortal, especially that Monsieur 20 Pourcent’s indiscretions now appear pale in the face of his successors, and that he may have gained the wisdom he lacked in his early years.

On the same “side”, Der General’s lack of success comes on the heels of a tactical defeat during the civil war “prova” of January 23rd, when the “Grand Shtroumpf” and his Barbudos were left to carry the weight of the entire uprising. Luckily, they had stocked enough tires to choke the entire city back then.

But now, events are changing many things. The attacks against the army showed the depth of support among the nation for normalcy, to say the least. The orange support for the army is far from being the weakest, as many new posters labelled “Ansar” now attest.

As a result, the Barbudos want guarantees that their Christian ally face will stick around as they raise the stakes even more, pushing for a second government. At this stage, they are “blood-testing” all their allies, as even the Istiz is proving harder to prod than usual, because of his concern over that last shred of معاويا’s hair.

Foggy Blue Horizon

It is true that time is running out for the Rainbow Coalition of March 8th; Rictus Oblicus has already forced their hand by calling for by-elections in Metn and Beirut.

But Rictus Oblicus must look to his own back; many of his supporters appear uneasy about his foreign support, as it limits their own freedom of action… and compromise. It is true that Barbichu is struggling to succeed his father, and has so far proven to be too fast on the compromise, which unsettles even his closest supporters. It is in this context that Moukhtarionator’s and Hakaym’s frequent rants should be viewed, as they stiffen the resolve of their own “side”. And the latest events only pushed the base into a most uncompromising position; too much blood has been spilled for anyone to accept any compromise with terrorists who, incidentally, must now wish they were peaceful vegetarians… Too bad their brand of suicide requires “company”…

It is this context that we should read actions like the Bteghrillon’s premature announcement of victory; it may have opened the road to a compromise back then.

This will put more wind in Rictus Oblicus’ sails. Flush with foreign support, he has now expertly manoeuvred Big Sister, the main sponsor behind the March 8th Jamboree, into a confrontation with the dis-United Nations and the “Free World”… Free, as in for sale on the cheap, but luckily for us, the Damascus Cub has been unmaking friends. Maybe he cannot afford any deal; he owes too much to family, friends, and even the increasingly influential Turbanistas.

Any “openings”, “appeasement”, or “wooing” towards his den were soon answered by a diversification of terror, as promised earlier; the assassination of MP Eido, as well as by the attack against UNFIL…

Onward on to War?

In the face of this onslaught of terror from Big Sister, one would be perplexed by the strength of the support behind March 8th and the rabidity of their propaganda, especially among the many whose dress code is anathema to the Barbudos. But all the calls for “reform” emanating from those who claim March 14th only renews fears of a resurgent Hariristan, when Lebanon was little more than a “Banana Republic”, with a political class in hock with a few unsavoury characters.

This is no idle fear; in the hands of those who gave us the “quadripartite alliance”, “Paris III” money can potentially add more debt to a bankrupt system. The Orange can hardly be faulted for their paranoia, especially when they remind us that, without a good audit of public finances, and a genuine effort at reform of the country, agreements like Taef will be subverted to consolidate the power base of clan leaders and recycled warlords.

In this confused context, two things are obvious;

1- The entire political establishment in Lebanon is bankrupt,

2- The region is reaching the limits of the old clan-based systems under which Lebanon and Syria have been mismanaged for the past 50 years.

At some point, the Gordian knot should break. The Lebanese habit of “no winners / no losers” compromises cannot be sustained for long. Even if they manage to sidestep the by-election, they have the presidential elections to worry about. September 25th is fast approaching, and the mandate of Emile 1st Thallassophilos would soon be over. There is also that little matter of a little tribunal; Inspector not-so-Clouseau having concluded his inquiry, he only needs to publish his findings, which will reveal much. There is also that little “Al Madina” dossier Mr. Rozek has been pushing, with enough mud to attach to the most Teflon of Arab politicians.

Then again, that Gordian knot has proven very resilient, and not Alexander is in view…

Friends and Foes…

And as they ponder their next move, Lebanese politicians from all sides are more confused than ever. Struggling with all their contradictions and their incompatible alliances, they look uneasily around at their “allies”, praying;

Lord, Guard me from my friends.

My enemies, I can deal with


amir in tel aviv said...

"..The entire political establishment in Lebanon is bankrupt".

So true.!

There's this opinion poll at "Lebanese lobby":

What would solve Lebanon's political crisis (4 options) ?
1-Aoun President
2-New Government that meets the opposition terms
3-New Parliamentary Elections
4-Presidential Election by the People

Well, none of those will.
Looks like Lebanon is heading a dead end.

ghassan karam said...

Contradictions will always resolve themselves. They have always done so and they always will. Unfortunately there isn't much that we can do to quicken the promised resolution besides educate ourselves and be patient. Often many a lifetime is required prior to the arrival at the "promised land".

I think that in the case of Lebanon the process has just about run its course and the "Gordian Knot" is about to break to give us mortals a glimpse of the future, a future without 'traditional zuamah" and a future with responsible citizens, MOWATINYAH. (What a nice sounding word).
As usual the old guard will put up a fight to protect its interests and the the new pretenders will do whatever it takes to become the new zuamah. Eventually though, the real people will rise and demand respect, honesty, freedom and justice. The journey is long and treacherous but if we percevier and, we will, the community will move forward towards that goal. We as individuals will never get the chance to stand at the top of the hill but we will have the pleasure of knowing that it is our actions that have eventually moved us in that direction. In the final analysis, the unfolding of history is predetermined but individuals can at times help speed up the unfolding process.That is why it is incumbent on us to resist the temptation offered by "false prophets" to go back in time and reestablish old glories that often never existed anyway. Such detours are a waste of time, energy and resources. They delay our evolution , they stop us from becoming better and above all they lengthen the current period of political ineptitude and social and economic misery..

Anonymous said...

what is the militiamen saying on youtube?