Friday, August 24, 2007

Preemie Candidates...

As officers get promoted, they move from positions where they have to excel at tactics get promoted into positions where a strategic sense is more central. But it is a sad fact of military life that few tacticians can make the transition to strategists.

Transitions…

Lebanese military men appear to be no exception. Aside from the Great Fouad Shehab, few have been able to make the transition from the “short view” to the “long view”; Aoun is an eminent example of a great tactician with a poor strategic understanding. He had announced his candidacy too soon, giving his opponents a nice target to hit, and for all his claims, he has been thoroughly discredited (The Lebanese can be so ungrateful to great men).

Now it appears that General Michel Suleiman may lack the strategic view, as demonstrated by his own premature announcement.

He had well prepared his candidacy, leveraging the unanimous public support for Nahr El-Bared, and hedging against Palestinian anger by referring to the demonstrators who were shot at “martyrs”… But the fact that those poor victims were exploited is immaterial for most Lebanese, in whose mind the memories of Fatahland are still fresh, where many families were not as lucky… They would rather have other plans for them…

Then he made a solid announcement, putting forth a candidacy that appeared strong.

But he messed it up by claiming that no Syrians were involved in Nahr El-Bared... Whether this was meant as a sop to the Syrians who placed got him his current job, and where his sister lives, few appreciated it. After initially making overtures to him, they appear to have changed their minds.

Anyway…..

Even without those mistakes, his candidacy was in trouble from the start; he had “moved” too soon. It only served the energize those who claim March 14th, and it gave much fodder to Joumblat’s efforts at defeating any deal between the Lebanese (in theory) majority and the Syrian (in practice) opposition.

Joumblat has a point, after all; why make a deal with those who are trying to advance the interests of a foreign occupier and the fashionista. The “Bad Cop” routine by Emile Lahoud scares no one; even if there is no presidential election, the opposition would be hard pressed to find a suitable Sunni candidate for Prime-Minister, especially now that Syria’s taking on Saudi Arabia, after managing to piss off Iraq.

Then again, we should never forget that Quisling’s Lebanese children occupy the entire political spectrum

Business Lessons?

At least, those gathered around March 14th banner have avoided that premature announcement mistake, but it is mostly due to either their irrelevance, or to their internecine rivalries and jalousies

The business world would be less charitable about the Lebanese political class, what with all this talk about people being promoted to the level of their incompetence. That may explain why all Lebanese politicians are so eager at self-promotion…

Incidentally, this hints at a way to wipe out our deficit; buy Lebanese politicians for what they’re worth, and sell them for what they think they’re worth

Then again, it applies to all politicians…

So there’s hope for the United States’ deficit…


3 comments:

ghassan karam said...

The incompetence of the current crop of Lebanese pols is so overwhelming that it would have been funny had it not been for the very real implications of their actions in all field.

These pols have managed to create what is a rather unique and possibly unsolvable economic mess. The US can always pay back all what it owes, if it has to, since its borrowings are denominated in its own currency. The Argentinas, Brazils and Turkeys of the world can always refuse to honour their international committments and leave the foreign investors holding the bag. In Lebanon, our Goverment officials have created a unique problem that combines two major constraints. An ever greater portion of the debt has been dollarised and thus has taken away from the goverment the possibility of monitizing it and most of the debt is domestically held which means that there is no foreign investor to carry the burden of a default. We owe most of that money to ourselves and as such defaults will be nothing short of outright confiscation of the capital funds of the Lebanese citizens that have been financing the government largesse. What a pickle.

Anonymous said...

pro march 14h now are we?

ghassan karam said...

Anon 4:24
Believe it or not , an objective evaluation of the alternative will give you no choice but to throw your lot with March 14.
The fact of the matter is that the economic stagnation has been aggravated to the point that we currently see as a result of a war that was imposed on the state by an irresponsible group that is intent on following the interests of neighbouring states. Add to the above the near to total domestic paralysis also imposed by the same group which has resulted in flight of capital, economic contraction and rising unemployment. It is also important to keep in mind that the major reason for the huge government annual deficit is the subsidy to EDL. Said subsidy is again primarily due to te fact that HA et al do not pay for the electric power they use. Another point to keep in mind is that the same group, HA and company, have prevented privatization of EDL and the cellular companies among other things and have prevented the full implementation of Paris I, Paris II and Paris III.