Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Too Little, Too Late

Rather than breaking bones, break the ice.

Not a bad idea if you can implement it; Aoun and Gemayel meet to calm things down as the Presidential vote is delayed once more.

… Or to bring Der General back to reality?

Or at least back to a modicum of logic, or to this planet of ours, where things have not been going so well for his candidacy. As Rizk is pushing his Shehabi-style campaign by leveraging Bank Al-Madina, with Harb and (the good) Lahoud still in play… But oddly enough, (the other) Ghanem’s star is rising…

Let’s hope those guys stay away from my neighbourhood until election time…

With all this, Der General has betrayed many, angered many more, and is left with few options short of a Hezb’o-led coup d’état. For all his support base, it has more to do with opposition to the establishment rather than any quality he may claim to have. And now that he has spent his capital, any illusions he had about his “allies” were soon dispelled:

First, in his meeting with Saad Hariri, his “ally” eztez Nabih did not mention once the name of Aoun among the many other candidates he named. Needless to say, Saad was surprised at such a display of duplicity…

Then, the representative of his other “ally” Franjieh, during the Christian pow(but no)wow at Bkerké, rather than pushing for a Aoun candidacy as agreed upon, only called for a consensus candidate, mentioning…. Michel Suleiman.

And yesterday came Hezbo’s announcement of a “stealth” candidate, with no mention of Aoun, and no coordination with the poor beleaguered general. Their postal system still leaves much to be desired, but at least the hate does go through

Too soon for Maroun Ahamdinejad?

With Friends like this, who needs enemies?

Certainly not the general, who is now hurriedly running to mend fences with his other March 14th half, in a desperate attempt to make up for lost ground.

So Aoun met Gemayel. He also met a few others, far less significant figures like (the bad) Lahoud’s pet one-man-party Emile Rahmeh. And he was sure glad to see the pope’s ambassador. Maybe he can put in a good word for him; last time Aoun went to Rome, the pope was too busy to see him.

Let’s see how long this display of sanity will last…

Technically, they do not need a consensus president; after this last delay, the assembly can now gather anywhere, anytime to vote for a president, and with only a simple majority, since the convocation for presidential election cannot be cancelled. Still, it may already be too little, too late. As the Daily Star’s editorial puts it;

There is considerable reason to fear, though, that the alternating bouts of dithering and demagoguery have put a negotiated solution out of reach.

If this is the case, the best that can be hoped for is a temporary agreement to disagree, an imperfect arrangement that leaves some form of the status quo in place until a long-term formula can be hammered out.

Even that may be too optimistic; for all the eloquent rhetoric, others may have decided to escalate matters… “They” have invested far too much in weaponry to lose it all if Lebanon ever becomes normal. Yet “others” have their own unresolved succession issues to deal with, and they cannot suffer anything else than a pliant Lebanon

So Christian “leaders” can do little at this stage. Pace any past pretence at grandeur, they forget that their past divisions have reduced them to bit players in a widening sectarian fight … They can do little else but wait to see what's cooking up in the sick sectarian minds of the terrorists who now hold sway over Lebanon.

Then again...


JoseyWales said...

"Too little-Too late" should be printed on the national flag, perhaps around the green cedar.

The Daily Crap should also think of and appending "too obvious" to "too little, too late" and adopting the longer formula as the paper's motto.

Danny said...

I do not want to be pessimistic...but there's no hope in Lebanon. People who have been accustomed to the death culture cannot overcome it. Unfortunately Syria is definitely pushing it towards a vacuum and maintaining of the status quo...until majority shrinks! The Syrian bet is civil war will not break out but little skirmishes will happen (they are counting on Iran to keep the sunni-shiite conflict in check).

Solomon2 said...

People who have been accustomed to the death culture cannot overcome it.

Spain did it. The Soviets did it. All it took was one prominent man in the power or cultural structure to publicly denounce it and the death culture crumbled.

danny said...


Soviet Union and Spain were not into Death culture! suicide bombings disguised as "Martyrdom" was not glorified. Spanish and Russian people wanted to live albeit under different regime and ideologies. So Please do not compare apples with oranges!

Solomon2 said...

Long Live Death!

Anonymous said...

Jeha seems depressed ... and he/she is depressing us with him/her !!! shame on you !!!

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Other Tony said...


You're kidding me aren't you, "Free we are and Free we will remain." Try telling that to the MP's who are in hiding at The Phoenicia Hotel; or to those who have been assisinated over the last few years; or to those business owners in Downtown Beirut who cannot operate due to the construction of Tent City. oh oh oh and yes I forgot that the US is the reason for the worlds problems.....never mind The Taliban, Saddam and Hamas being the reason for the "screwing of Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine."

Excuse my pessimism but the solution that we are all eagerly awaiting over the coming couple of weeks is so far away that it's not funny....the two sides to this problem are diametrically opposed! I hope I'm wrong.

ghassan karam said...

Tnx for the General Astray link. My guess is that this episode will stay with me for a long time.Peace.

Sam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Other Tony said...


How about we do it like this. Let's put aside all those conspiracy theories for a minute and let's try and tackles the issues with a little objectivity.

The Taliban - They harboured Osama Bin Laden and are responsible for many terrorist acts including September 11. The fact that the Mujahadeen received support from the West during Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was justified at the time, to defeat/limit the Communist/Soviet spread.

Saddam Hussein - Again, Saddam was supported by the West to fight a common enemy being Ayatollah/Iran. Was it totally justified? I'm not sure, however the Iranian regime has shown time and again that they take an obstructionist position in middle eastern affairs, such as their support for Hizbullah, Hamas and the Shia militia's in Southern Iraq.

Hamas - Israel helped found Hamas? Your statement is nonsensical. On what grounds can you make this claim? and why would Israel found an organisation intent on its distruction?

Now concerning Lebanon. Remember your statement, "Free we are and Free we will remain." All your political counter arguements have still not proven your statement correct-politicians are still fortified in a hotel; still in fear for their lives and businesses are still unable to operate in an environment conducive for business - Economics 101 teaches that a factor for economic growth is consumer confidence - how do you think people feel about heading to downtown through Tent City? Very warm and welcoming for both the locals and the tourists right!

Corrupt Politicians - without proof I really cannot comment too much on this. However, I will say that you are delusional if you believe that corruption is only infested in the one side of the political divide.

Sam I will suggest that if you are eligible to vote in the next Lebanese Parliamentary elections, that you take your stand against the current Government then. Until then however, respect the fact that the Siniora Government is legitimate and representative of the Lebanese people.

The Other Tony said...


We seem to be going around and around in circles here. It is obvious that we are not operating on the same wavelength. However, before I respond to you for a last time on this post, allow me to point out some issues which I have with your last comment:
1."Finding tonnes of articles" on the internet does not make your claim of Israel helping create Hamas bona fide
2.You claim that Siniora and Hariri have stolen in excess of $51 billion - any proof for this accusation? In some parts of the world, such an accusation without proof is an avenue to be sued. Be careful with the accusations which you make
3.Last time I checked, legal and legitimate meant the same thing, so I have no idea what you mean about the Government. The electoral laws may be outdated, however, the Parliament is legal and so too is the Government, whether your representatives in Parliament like it or not - remember they all played by the same rules
4.so the protests led by the Hizbullah opposition attracted between 1.2 and 2 million people. That's quite a large margin for error and I would guess that the protests didn't attract that many people anyway
5. As for the people protesting not being responsible for the economy - yes I agree. However, in no civilised country do people lay claim to an area for 10 months and occupy it to the detriment of the local businesses

Jeha said...

The Oher Tony,

Don't bother; some people prefer to twist facts, and would resort to sophistry and insults, and even threats when confronted with Logic. The word Apology does not fit in their dictionary...

However, in all lies, there is always a seed of truth.

- For all his American strings, Karzai is no Quisling, and the Taliban were far more Einsatzgruppen, than Soldiers. Through the Pakistani SS, the US did support them, and others, in the face of the Soviets. There was later support because they "stooped" (read: stabilized) the pace of drug production in Afghanistan. The fact that American policy was incompetent in that region, as in many others, does not necessarily make it complicit.

- Israel did facilitate the rise of Hamas, but this is a far cry for actually funding it.

- Saddam; you're spot on. But I would add this; in the tradition of letting a diamond cut a diamond, we're always left with "diamonds"... Just different types, and nastier ones like Saddam. The West needs a longer term engagement policy, if it is to live to its motto of being a "free world".

- Corruption. There is evidence of much of it, but it is across the political spectrum. To state that one's side is "clean", or "cleaner than thou" is simple delusion;

Qui vole un oeuf vole un boeur

Freedom is a tricky matter. The worse prison is the one we dig ourselves in. There were interesting studies that correlate political bias and fanaticism to intelligence; the more intelligent and educated we are, we more we tend to remain biased... It is as if the brain filters out what it does not "feel good" in believing.

Anonymous said...

When the Hariri/Siniora team got to power in the 90's Lebanon was vitually debt free. Today we have about 51 billion dollar debts. There is no democracy without accountability and they are accountable for it.