Everybody is celebrating in Beirut today. The newspapers headlines wire filled with truce (not a typo), and a general feeling of elation engulfed the city this morning as the opposition started to dismantle its 17 months old sit-in complete with tents and food stalls. The reason for the festive mood is simple: Loyalists and Opposition seem to have come to a compromise in Doha: the election of army chief Michel Sleiman for President, a government in which the Opposition has veto power, and an electoral law that gives each side a bit from Lebanon, and keeps Beirut predominantly Haririan.
But leftists are killjoys, everybody knows that. Look how Khaled Saghieh refuses to join in the fun. In his editorial today (which I summarize and translate very freely) he calls on us to be ashamed and to commiserate. He asks: "What are the politicians, and the Lebanese people happy about? About electing a president who has no program and of whom we know nothing except that he stayed neutral when he was forced to do so? The military is not the best school of diplomacy, and we remember what happened in Nahr el Bared.
And we are going to have now a new government, in which the Opposition got all it wanted: veto power. This may prevent or correct the marginalization of some confessions, but what about the socio-economic programs? Neither Loyalists nor opposition have ever taken any position on that, except to use the poor and the workers as political pawns.
As for the last achievement of the Doha accord, the electoral law, all this has achieved is to anchor sectarianism further and deeper, in order to impose elections in which independent voices can never be heard.
There is nothing to rejoice about in these agreements, only more shame."
I told you he was a party-pooper.