Wednesday, May 21, 2008


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.


Unknown said...

Thanks for your analysis, Rami. It seemed like celebration only on the surface to me as well. At leats things have calmed down enought to visit though. Have a good time in Cyprus.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the translation of that fantastic article, people like you must continue to spread leftist ideas in that - and every - nation on this planet.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more! How do you expect a society to heal and cross the sectarian and racism divide when it is all engrained within the government! Who would act a role model for the society if the rule of law that governs this society reinforces divisions? But also, people in Lebanon are so tired and their spirits are so broken (minus their leaders) that they are fed with wars and just want to have a normal life, except that we really never had nor enjoyed a normal civic life.

Anonymous said...

last couple of days' festivities were more depressing than last week's clashes.

locals keep proving that they're nothing more high on religion ignorant minions.

Anonymous said...

more than*

sealover said...

this agreement can only be a temperory truce.
lebanon will continue to suffer episodic crisis until the real problem of secterianism is dealt with.
yhe only solution is to have a completely secular lebanon, where religion has no role in politics.
a starting point is to accept secular lebanese as a separate sect and give them parliament seats proportional to the percentage of votes that they get. ( just day dreaming !)