Friday, November 30, 2007

A last chance...

It seems that the opposition have shown their true intent. They do not want a president. It is as simple as that, at one point they only agreed on Aoun or Eddeh. Two candidates they know that the 14 of March coalition will never accept, and went on to veto all the names proposed by the March 14, even though some were acceptable by most political factions.

Meanwhile, General Aoun's position is slightly different, but it can be sumerized in two words "me or no one!" Of course some will claim that his latest proposal proved the contrary. However, his "initiative" was nothing more than a postponement of the current crisis for two years, just to enable him to grab the presidency before i tis too late.

So in a last ditch effort the 14 of March proposed the Army General as a candidate, despite earlier opposition and reticence. For example, I for one totally opposed General Suleiman candidacy when it was put forth a month or two ago, and i still do.

Nevertheless in an effort to avert chaos and safe the country another civil war, March 14 accepted yet another compromise and decided to support General Suleiman. I think that they have seen the danger that stalk us, especially with a prolonged presidential void, and a furious Aoun that keep threating with public unrest...

The opposition however have seemed reticent to accept. Although Suleiman was one of the compromise candidates they proposed. At first they demanded Aoun approval, then they refused any amendment to the constitution because they consider the government illegal. Excuse, excuse...

So now we are waiting (at times i feel that waiting is all what the Lebanese people do...) for this last serious chance to solve the crisis. either the opposition accept General Suleiman (which at first was one of their proposed consensual candidates) or this void will be prolonged for months.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD)

At the moment the situation in Lebanon is similar to the MAD ear of the cold war. Both parties have the means to wreak havoc and usher chaos. So both parties are waiting for each other to make the first step.

In other words it is a status-quo, albeit a very dangerous one. The 14th March coalition will not elect a president with an absolute majority, while Hezbollah and Aoun will not form a second government.

Meanwhile, the current arrangement will continue. PM Siniora will keep his job and his government will rule the country in a low profile fashion. President Lahoud will go home and will not form a parallel government. But remember that is the best case scenario.

On the other hand, i would like to salute PM Siniora and the 14th of March. After all the assassination, threats and bullying our government stood fast and proved that violence and intimidation do not work with us. If Hezbollah wants a political change or a bigger share int he government they have to give concession and have a dialog. Violence is not acceptable nad it will not frighten us!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

On the last hours of the last day…

Once again the Lebanese, and their respective foreign patrons, cannot find an agreement until the very last moment, when they are all standing on the edge of a dark tortuous and bottomless abyss…

Edges are fraught with dangerous problems, any misstep and you are in free fall, and once you are on an edge it is very, very difficult to get back safely.

So Lebanon presidential election will be held, if it does, on the very last day of Lahoud term. Pass that date all bets are off and all actions and counter actions will be possible.

48 hours before the election, the rumor mill is going crazy. Yesterday pessimism was abound. Today it seems most newspapers hint that Michel Edeh will be our next president.

Meanwhile, I can only relate an old French saying: do not sell the bear’s skin, before killing him.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

End game...

Suddenly without any introduction the Speaker fro the Parliament role in finding a solution for the current presidential crisis has been sidelined by Nassrallah and Aoun.

Nassrallah lambasted the majority in his latest speech and undermined the French initiative, while Aoun attacked the rest of March 14 and clearly stated his opposition to any President other than himself!

the end game phase is upon us, the stakes are sky high and tension are rocketing. As both parties are waiting for the side that will blink first. Unfortunately, out of pride, megalomania, necessity or even sheer arrogance it seems that no one will blink and we will all fall into the unknown.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

When Nassrallah admitted that Hezbollah was a militia!

Nassrallah latest angry and hateful speech was a sign of Hezbollah’s bankruptcy. Nassrallah did not even propose any effective or feasible solution. He just announced that he did not accept a presidential election by an absolute majority, or Siniora’s government temporarily taking up the president’s power.

Nassrallah could not or did not wish to find a solution, instead he spent his speech insulting the 14 March coalition, which in turn resulted in a scalding response by Walid Joumblatt, who for the first time, since Nassrallah emerged on the political scene, practically insulted him!

Meanwhile, Nassrallah haven’t even named his candidate, maybe he is waiting till after the election (sic). This whole thing reminds me of the crisis to pass the International Tribunal; Nassrallah explained that he had several important amendments on the tribunal bylaws. Yet he never published these changes or even submitted them in secret to March 14 or any mediator.

But all that pale considering Nassrallah huge mistake: he admitted that Hezbollah was a militia. Let me explain: in his speech he declared “they only want a president to implement UNSCR 1559 … and I repeat even if the whole world comes, they will not be able to implement the article concerning Hezbollah in UNSCR 1559.”

Ah… what he said is pretty clear, no one can implement the clause concerning Hezbollah in UNSCR 1559, and the problem is that there is no clause concerning Hezbollah in 1559!!!! The only disbanding mentioned in the resolution is those of MILITIAS!!!

So Nassrallah has finally admitted that his organization is just another militia...

PS: Here is a partial transcript of the resolution if you want to read it all head over here:

Resolution 1559 (2004)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 5028th meeting, on 2 September 2004

The Security Council,

1. Reaffirms its call for the strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial

integrity, unity, and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority of the Government of Lebanon throughout Lebanon;

2. Calls upon all remaining foreign forces to withdraw from Lebanon;

3. Calls for the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias;

4. Supports the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory;

Monday, November 05, 2007

Hezbollah and the concept of deterence!

Something ain't right with Hezbollah's concept of deterrence. Before the 2006 summer war, Narrallah convinced a large part of the Lebanese people that his 20000 thousands missiles are the greatest deterrent to any Israeli attack against Lebanon, and stressed that Israel would never dare to attack our country as long as he had all these missiles.

Unfortunately, the war proved him wrong... not only his missiles failed to protect Lebanon, but they caused untold destruction, as Israel bombed any missile launch site no matter where it was, and used Hezbollah's missiles as a pretext to continue the war for over a month.

Now fast forward to a few weeks ago, Nassrallah tries, once again, to threaten Israel and us with a big surprise he is preparing for any invading army if they dared attack Lebanon. It seems that it failed too. Because yesterday Hezbollah, breaching UN resolution 1701, and forgoing any common sense, embarked on a large military maneuvers in the area south of the Litani river and controlled by the UNIFIL.

His reason? to send a message to Israel -and his friends!!- that Hezbollah will stop any Israel attack against Lebanon, and these maneuvers are the greatest deterrence to Israel, and will stop it from ever thinking of attacking Lebanon. Maybe threating Israel with a big surprise was not deterrent enough!

Funny thing is, during Hezbollah "divine" maneuvers, the Israeli Air force was freely flying overhead and watching, with interest, the maneuvers aimed to stop them form any further incursions or attacks...Ah irony!

Once again, Nassrallah's deterrence will fail, and will certainly have a catastrophic opposite effect. If Israel was hesitant to launch any attack against the party of god, i think this maneuver will strengthen their resolve and encourage them to launch a large scale attack against Hezbollah.

What can i say? Excellent deterrence strategy Mr. Nassrallah! Keep up the good work, especially that the last destroyed bridges from the summer war have been finally repaired. Just in time!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The three scenarios!

As events are racing towards a clash ( Lebanon presidential election due by 24 November, Iran nuclear activities, Israel flexing its muscles, Syria playing around…) I cannot help but to offer the likeliest scenarios concerning the fate of Lebanon’s election.

The most likely scenario is a presidential election with an absolute majority quorum, by the 14 March coalition. The opposition, claiming that the quorum should be the two third of all MPs, threatened revolution and coup d’├ętat if the 14 March government try to go through such a presidential election.

The second scenario, a bit less likely, would be a void, the president will not be elected and Prime Minster Siniora’s government will take charge of presidential powers.

The third scenario would be a miracle, a consensual president, and frankly I do not see this happening.

Now let us hear what you have to say and which scenario you think will happen.