Friday, December 07, 2007

Lambs into Lions

Lysenko was wrong, as demonstrated in our case. For all the dialectic out there, one key fact remains true; you cannot evolve skills you did not inherit. Once a bottom feeder, always a bottom feeder; Lambs do not grow into Lions.
Our current crop of “leaders” illustrates perfectly this principle. Most of this MP crop is made up of decent people, on both "sides". But it takes more than decency to lead, and our MP's have been far too content at wasting time and precious money... They could only very quickly outlaw(?) a game that dissed them “en masse”, but they could do little else but jaw-jaw.

To understand our predicament, I feel that we should get away from all the
fawning, hedging, and double-dealing going on in the region, and keep in mind the fundamentals.

The Immediate Game…

Yes, there are many reasons for us to be pessimistic about the prospects of a secular Lebanon. But those are proximate reasons, not fundamental ones.

Yes, the current “majority” has been scoring a few own goals, the latest of which is the backing of a General to succeed that other General at the helm. But this does not have to be such a bad deal; not all generals are created alike. At least, this one can read… And speak.

Yes, there are signs that a “quieter” mood is spreading over the region, with the Gulf States moderating their tone, and with the CIA issuing "calming" reports. But it will take more than mere summiteering to bridge this Gulf between Arabs and Persians, even if many feel reassured/vindicated by all the recent jaw-jaw. In any case, the CIA’s latest report can be mere politicking; after all, this would not be it's first attempt at interference in US elections. Back then, it did not work. And this time, Europeans remain on board.

The Broader Game Has Changed

The fact remains that the region’s sides are too far apart to make a compromise.

First, the Iranians are far too married to their pursuit of “grandeur”, and will not deliver what the West wants and the Arabs want or need. It is interesting to note that, while the “über-hardliners” among the Mullahs have been reinforcing their hold over power, their hold over the economy is weakening. And they appear to be forgetting how the last Cyrus-impersonator fared; one man's Bushehr may well be another's Persepolis... Is history repeating itself there?

Second, the Syrians are in no position to “deliver” much; for all the prodding by Israel's bitkhonim, the Americans and the French still consider that Lebanon is too high a price to pay for Israel’s continued presence in the Golan… Even Israelis are not completely sold on the idea, especially considering Iran’s continued armed presence in Lebanon, and Syria's inability to do anything about this; recall that they were inefficient back in 1990, and they remain ineffective on their own border with Iraq. So they can hardly do much against Hezb, even if they wanted to. To his credit, Bashar seems to have learned much since 2005, but he would be poorly advised to put much stock in Koushner’s buffoonery and Sarkozy’s phone calls, since the Europeans remain bit players in this game. And all the jaw-jaw remains inconsequential, Bashar has nothing more to offer than a turncoat demonstration.

And third, Arabs have far too much invested in Lebanon to let Syria back in; with all his faults, a semi-independent Lebanon under Siniora has proven to be comparatively functional. Yes, this is not much, but like Sarkis before him, he too had to contend with a brutal genocidal war and a prolonged occupation. And like Sarkis, he had only tears to hold back the brutes… But he has been muddling through expertly so far.

Bring in the Replacements

So, fundamentally, I remain convinced that there will be no deal at Lebanon’s expense.

Not in the short term at least; this is of no merit of our own; we owe most of it to the neighbourhood’s enduring contradictions. And thanks to our local chapter of the illuminati, Lebanon remains in play. Which means that there will be no deal for the time being.

The long term is less rosy, however. Not that we’re betting on the wrong team.

...We just have the wrong players.


Mustapha said...


The font tapers down till it becomes totally illegible. I noticed it's been a problem with you for the last few posts. I checked the source code and it's all bungled up.

As a solution, I suggest you use an external blogging client like scribefire (which I use). It's a small firefox extension which gives you a great place to edit and write new posts.

Hope that was helpful..

Jeha said...

Thanks Mustapha,

I checked out scribefire, and I think have fixed this post. I think it had something to do with Word '07 and explorer; through Firefox, I was able to see the real trouble with the pages.

Thank you for your patience.

Nobody said...

First, the Iranians are far too married to their pursuit of “grandeur”, and will not deliver what the West wants and the Arabs want or need. It is interesting to note that, while the “über-hardliners” among the Mullahs have been reinforcing their hold over power, their hold over the economy is weakening.

the syrians are not doing any better ... some claim that they will run out of oil surpluses to export next year ... and unlike iran their demographics remain largely out of control ... next year the prices of oil products should go up, some by as much as 70%, as they start phasing out subsidies ... there will be probably some form of social unrest ... and maybe even a lot of it ...

soundcitizen said...

Iranians are Persians, you dumbass. I hate when stupid people make such rash comments, as it only shows how dangerously stupid they are.