Tuesday, January 2, 2007

So what's the trick?

Take a look at this.

So the opposition has prepared " العريضة النيابية " against the government, whatever that means in English.

It is basically built around the argument that the government violated the constitution by sidelining the President in decision making.

There are 2 faces to this coin. The first is that the government "did" sideline the president. But why did the government do that? Constitutionally, they shouldn't have done this, that much is true. But the question that begs the answer is: Why?

I'll tell you.

For the government to pass the law on the international tribunal, constitutionally, it has to get one of 2 approvals. Either the president, or the opposition. They already know that the president will not give them that, so the only way to go is through the opposition, and as we know, the opposition has a price for their approval. How easy can it get. There is no conspiracy theory or a complex, undefinable motive as some people are trying to portray it. It's plain and simple. I just think Lebanese people like to make up min el 7abby 2ibby, because they cannot believe things are so easy.

This reminds me of a friend of mine back at school when we were young. He was a very smart kid. But when he came to the test, he would always get the answers wrong. But the "bonus" question, which is the most difficult, and you will get extra points if you solve it, he will get the answer right. After investigation, we found out what the problem was. He just would not believe that solving these questions was as easy, so he suspects a trick, and wastes his time trying to solve it.

The only problem was that: There was no trick!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Letting go?

So what would the solution for the current gridlock be? Since we already know that the problem is in the sequence of change, then the solution might also be there as well. Therefore, I propose that the sequence of events change:

1: A New Government
2: A New President
3: A New election law
4: A new Parliament

What would this sequence do?

1: Will insure that the new govenment will have power share between the 2 groups.
2: Will give the presidency to March 14th since they currently hold the majority in the parliament
3: Will insure a fair election law
4: Will give Aoun & Co. majority in the parliament for the next presidential elections.

The question is though: Will Aoun accept giving up the presidency for this coming term? He is already an old man, and might not make it to the next elections. Will he let go for the sake of Lebanon?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Armand Homsi

I really respect Armand Homsi.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Devil is in the details

What is the basis of conflict between the 2 opposing groups? After the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon, Power was up for grabs, and is still so far. Both parties want a change, but it is in the sequence of this change that their intentions appear.

March 14 Sequence:

1- Change the President
2- Change the Government and make a new electoral law
3- A new Parliament

Aoun & Hizbullah:

1- Change the government and make a new electoral law
2- A new Parliament
3- A new President

So what does this mean?

For March 14: It means that they do not have the popular base for a parliamentary majority if a new elections happen. Therefore, they need a new President on their side. Once that happens, it is easy to tailor an electoral law that insures that they maintain the majority in the next elections. they already have the majority in the Parliament right now. Once they have the president, they will have the:

1- Presidency
2- Government
3- Parliament

For Aoun and Hizbullah: They have the majority of the votes on the popular base. If a new government with at least a third from their guys in it is formed, the electoral law that it has to form must adhere to a consensus or it will not pass. When a new electoral law is passed and a new elections happen, this insures that they get the majority in the Parliament to elect a president from their camp, and of course, it will be "Aoun". Once this happens, they will have:

1- The Presidency
2- The Parliament
3- A shared government with March 14 (Thus the statement: We will not eliminate you, but you want to eliminate us"

UPDATE Dec 12, 2006:

Today (or yesterday), Mr. Samir Geagea reaffirmed the sequences stated above as published in Annahar newspaper.

Monday, December 4, 2006

A Common Sense Miracle!!!

On Wednesday December the 6th, there is a meeting at 7:00 pm at the Church of "Our Lady of Lebanon" in Brooklyn, NY. This meeting is for a prayer for Lebanon. Religious leaders from all religions will be attending to join in the prayers. The Bishop announced the event saying that only a miracle can save Lebanon now, and all our prayers were needed. My wife, who is not Lebanese by the way, after hearing the Bishop's announcement said:

Sure! Only a miracle can save you now! Not: COMMON SENSE!!!

I hope I captured the mood with all the exclamation marks and the capitalizations!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The price of Approval

So why is Aoun calling for demonstrations?

Aoun is very much aware of the internal Lebanese political powers to know which buttons to push for his own benefit.

After the Formation of the current government, Aoun was stuck amidst a power struggle, and he was offerred a miserly cut in the cabinet for his participation. Aoun's decision at that time was that he deserves whatever the number of seats he has in the Parliament, percentage wise. Seniora & Co. said: No deal. Aoun said: Then I don't want anything, and I will be in the opposition. At that time, the government had an agreement with hizbullah, and the party of God was awarded seats in the cabinet for their participation, along the seats that Amal got. Then, there was the great divide between 14th of March and 8th of March. After this divide, Aoun stepped in and signed a paper of agreement with Hizbullah.

So let us put it this way: You have 2 opposing groups, one in power, the other in opposition. Seniora & Co VS Hizbullah & Co. Hizbullah & Co. are not a majority in this formula, they are a minority. But when you introduce Aoun into the equation, the formula changes. Aoun can decide who the majority is. If he sides with Hizbullah and Co., then they become the majority, if he sides with Seniora & Co., they become the majority. He has managed to put himself in a very useful position.

Let us just remember that it is a fight for power, on all sides. Aoun was willing to side with 14th of March since day 1. But even before he came back to Lebanon, he was fought and sidelined by that camp. Jumblat called him the Tsunami, knowingly, because he knew that if he is not "sized", he will rise to become the most powerful man in Lebanon. Therefore, March 14th war against Aoun has taken its toll. Now Aoun is back with a vengeance. His popular base extends beyond the Christian street. In the Shiaa community, he ranks in popularity above Nabih Berri! He also knows that neither Hizbullah nor Amal want Syria back in Lebanon, yet, they will not declare it. March 14th knows this fact also, but plays it to its favor. By accusing Hizbullah & Co. of being Pro Syrian, they keep their base intact.

So now, Aoun is calling for demonstrations on friday to establish a government of National Unity. What this means is that He wants to take his share in the ministry, the same one that was denied for him in the first place. What does this mean in terms of power share. It means that the numbers in the cabinet should reflect those in the parliament, but in this case, the cabinet number of votes only need a third to stop a law from passing. So, if Hizbullah & Co. get their fair Share, Seniora & Co. get their fair share, and Aoun gets his fair share,, March 14th is in big trouble, because, every time they want to pass a law, they have to "talk" to the other members of the cabinet, and in the case of the tribunal, Hizbullah and Co. will not anger Syria, therefore, they are under the mercy of Aoun's approval, and Aoun has a price for this approval.

Journalism! What Journalism?

I just wanted to state this for the record, and this is my personal opinion about Lebanese journalism. I don't think that there is true journalism in Lebanon, and if it exists, it is a negligble percentage. All journalism in Lebanon is what is called "yellow journalism". Lebanese journalists do not report facts, they report opinions about facts. There are more "political analysits" in Lebanon that there are journalists. This remains my humble opinion.


You know, I have been calling Lebanese journalists "political analysists", because I did not think that we really have any journalists in Lebanon, but now I think that I must take this "naming" to a new level, because the term "analysit" means that someone is analyzing something. I have finally decided to take the naming a step further: Political Theorists

I have read for one so called "journalist" so many theories, and most of them contradict each other, than I can remember. So until further notice, any journalist is going to be called "political theorist". I still think that this naming gives them some credit, but I don't want to be tatally pessimistic. Maybe I will change this naming with time.


Hell! Let's just call them fiction writers and get it over with. You want a good story of fiction, just read the newspapers.