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.

Two words of advice

So, who was behind the assassination?

In a country where you don't know the koo3 min el boo3, you cannot make a calculated guesstimate on anything, because the track record of finding the perpetrators is not very reassuring. Whoever is doing this, is very well aware that no one will be able to pinpoint anything in any direction, and therefore, their work will be a success no matter what. Now, why are these attempts successful? Because Lebanese politicians are idiots, or traitors in the least. Whenever something happens, every dumb politician makes a statement to "condemn" the attacks and to register a point in his own favor and against his political opponents, as if they are behind it. The other opponents condemn in their turn, and return the accusation. Thus, the people are confused, and these stupid politicians give an excuse for the doers to do again what they did, and the cycle continues. Two words of advice to all Lebanese Politicians on these occasions:


This is none of your business people. Leave it to the specialized people in the field to find out who and why and what. Just shut up.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Drop Quiz

The bill for the tribunal was sent yesterday for the president to sign. If the president does not sign it, or if he rejects it, it will go to the parliment for a vote. The president has 15 days to make a decision. I think that he will use all of them to gain time for another assassination. He will not reject it straight away. The president is infront of a quiz right now:

Q: You receive the bill for the international tribunal for approval, what do you do?

A- You reject it immediately and it goes to the parliment
B- You approve it
C-You wait 15 days and something happens in these 15 days

(Hint: if it is neither A or B, then we have motive established)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The flat truth

After the assassination of Pierre Gemayel, some people went down to the streets and burned pictures of Mr. Michel Aoun. The Tayyer website mentioned that these people were not identified as being Kataeb, but some other Lebanese political group in an indication to the Lebanese Forces.

On the other hand, and on the forum of the official and the unofficial forums of the Lebanese Forces, there were so many voices rising against Mr. Aoun, as if he was the personality to blame for the assassination.

During the dark ages of man, people thought that the earth was flat and motionless, and that the sun, the moon and the planets and stars rotated around the earth. There were many scientific formulas to calculate the years, the days, and even eclipses based on that assumption, and these formulas were extremely accurate. But as accurate as they were, one fact remained, and it was the fact that they were based on wrong assumptions.

Back to present day Lebanon, Mr. Aoun mentioned that this assassination might be to drive a wedge between the Lebanese Christians. Whether Mr. Aoun thinks that the world rotates around him or not is a different matter, but in this case, his calculations seem to be working.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Just so that you would know

So, what would the international tribunal achieve? Will it bring the Syrian president in front of the international court as a suspect? Will it be able to bring down the current Syrian regime? If it does, what are the alternatives?

The latest killing was aimed at curtailing the current Lebanese government from approving the draft for the international tribunal. But what is this tribunal all about? It is obvious that the US ambassador in Lebanon have been meeting on regular basis with Lebanese politicians, especially from the March 14th group. Today, he had a meeting with President Amin Gemayel and Mr. Samir Geagea. This comes after Amin's son was brutally assassinated.

The United States is looking for its best interests in the region, and its best interests at the current time rotate around Iraq. This is where the American troops are, and this is where the American interest lies. If you take a look at the region's map, you will notice that there are 2 countries surrounding Iraq, yes, you guessed it, Syria & Iran.

Therefore, this clamp must be broken, and the way to achieve it is to break the weakest link: Syria. Once Syria becomes pro-American, and a pro-American government is installed there, it will diffuse the pressure in Iraq enormously. This would bring to a halt the rising violence in Iraq. Syria is the key to a secure Iraq, and the USA has a chance to achieve that without cutting a deal with the current Syrian regime. The Americans are tired of dealing with sneaky governments. They want their own people out there just doing as they are told. The next regime will be a toy in their hands.

Syria therefore is fighting a war on 3 fronts: Inside Syria, in Lebanon and in Iraq. Inside Syria, people are being "suicided", in Lebanon "Assassinated", and in Iraq, well, you know.

The international tribunal is the first step towards building the right amount of pressure on the Syrian regime for its ultimate demise. But the USA surely has the right candidate for the take over: Good Ol' Abd el Halim Khaddam.

That is the main reason, Mr. Walid Jumblat has spoken well about the old snake Khaddam, and about his former brother in arms the suicided Mr. Kanaan. He already knows the endgame, and he knows whom to side with. He is applying the old Lebanese proverb:

"When Nations change, guard your head".

And he is guarding that balding head of his by saying all the right words that the USA wants to hear. Hizbullah on the other hand is not so clueless. They are caught somewhere in the middle, and they carry an Iranian tag that was intensified after the war with Israel. To disarm would be suicide for them, and for Syria. They have no other choice: Either keep going, or get going. That is why, Mr. Geagea said today that Hizbullah ministers must go back on their resignation, because when Syria is done with its enemies, it will turn against its friends. It is a warning sign for the Hizb.

Mr. Aoun seems to be clueless, or maybe he just does not care. He seems to think that he can save Lebanon by being Lebanese. His main goal is to topple the current government in order to establish a strong "Lebanese" government that takes care of its citizens and format a new political base for a modern Lebanon. Mr. Aoun hates the current Syrian regime, but not as much as he hated the one that preceded it, and its Lebanese associates (Inc.), and he wants to bring them all to justice. He is a man on a mission swimming against the tide. On the other hand, his siding with Hizbullah is like putting his hand in the snake's den, especially that this snake cannot control its behaviors "as seen on TV". A small joke in a comic show almost took Lebanon back to the civil war era. That was a warning sign to the Sayyed that he does not really control his popular base.

17 days to the Christmas of the March 14th Coalition. If they can keep themselves from getting killed, and keep the constitutionality of their approval on the tribunal, then they would have passed a milestone in their journey. The prime minister is not taking any chances. He is setting up bedrooms in the Serail till Monday.

The Lightning and the Thunder

Yesterday, another Gemayel was assassinated. It was not an explosive event like the one that killed his uncle, or the one that killed Rafiq Hariri, but a more swift killing, quick as a lightning, so quick that no one was able to see, follow, or catch the assassins. Two cars and 13 bullets. Yet something tells me that the Thundering Boom is going to resound all over Lebanon in the coming days. I hope it rains.

The death and rise of Lebanon

Within a region burdened by numerous conflicts, Lebanon today stands on the verge of freedom or annexation and death. But if history ever taught us something about Lebanon, it is that this country might be destined to die every once in a while, so as to rise again from the ashes of its consumed history, and herein lies its strength and magnificence. The fear of death will only lead to a slow death, therefore, we must plunge into the battle undaunted, for the closer we get to death, the nearer our resurrection.