Lebanon, March 14, Syria

“So much for Lebanon’s so-called Cedar Revolution…”

cedar revolution...

Michael Young had an article in yesterday’s Daily Star entitled “Syria Will Win Lebanon’s Elections.” Young-haters will gleefully read it as a sign of surrender by one of March 14th’s most ardent and eloquent spokesmen, while his fans will tell you that there’s nothing new about this latest offering: Michael Young has been sour on March 14th for a good long while. Here’s the take-away:

“The March 8-March 14 dichotomy no longer seems appropriate today, despite the furious debate in Lebanon over who will win next June. Whoever wins, Syria will emerge on top, its crimes forgotten and its interests protected. That may sound benign when expressed this way, but those interests will certainly expand in the future, to Lebanon’s detriment. So much for Lebanon’s so-called Cedar Revolution, never a revolution in the first place, and now as exposed as any old tree to being cut down.”

I seem to meet a lot of bitter March 14ers these days. Michael Young is not alone in his frustration with the coalition and its changing fortunes. The departure of the Bush administration and the Syrian-Saudi rapprochement have yanked the rug out (so people say) from beneath the feet of the Independence Intifadists, who now sit and wait for an election that will almost certainly give them a less convincing mandate than the 2005 polls, assuming that they even win at all. To be frank, I can identify with this embittered group, in certain ways. Sure, I seem to spend quite a bit of time and energy on this blog criticizing the leaders of M14 (both politicians and “messaging strategists”), but, at the risk of sounding duplicitous… I can explain.

(Exiting Syrian/Iranian apologist mode… entering USA/Saudi collaborator mode).

I know few people who were not, at one point or another, if only for a day, “believers” in the March 14th movement. This includes many people who have long since drifted away from their earlier convictions, or indeed renounced them vehemently. However, what I’ve found is that even when speaking with people who currently define their political alignment in terms of being against March 14th, the conversation usually winds up producing, curiously enough, some kind of conciliatory position vis-à-vis the “original spirit” of the movement: a spontaneous social uprising against a perceived historical injustice. I wrote an article on the psychological effect of this phenomenon, about a year ago for Syria Comment. Here’s an excerpt.

“What is often lost in the day-to-day analysis of Lebanon’s current despair and hopelessness, is the extent to which its paralysis stems, paradoxically, from two moments of staggering hopefulness. Beneath the surface clutter of parliamentary sessions postponed, foreign sponsors maligned, and electoral laws rejected, lie two emotional currents of deep nationalist aspiration, two currents which flow beneath the landscape of Lebanese politics like parallel subterranean rivers, welling up and intersecting at various points, then diverging once again and disappearing from sight.

I am speaking, of course, of the two monumental events which precipitated the current conflict, namely the “Cedar Revolution” of March 2005 and the “Divine Victory” of July 2006… In many ways, these two episodes were twin revolutions, remarkably similar to each other in their structural outlines and emotional resonance. They each represented a defining moment for a sizable portion of the Lebanese population, in which a dense set of accumulated resentments, anxieties, and righteous anger was focused upon a single historical injustice, and then exorcised – successfully – through a shocking and sublime victory. These twin revolutions made visible, for many Lebanese, a political reality previously unimaginable in Lebanon, a reality in which ordinary citizens were the masters of their own fate, where the dominance of foreign powers could be resisted successfully, and where national unity was not a purely hypothetical construct.

For the hundreds of thousands of people who would come together under the March 14 banner, the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri was a great crime, not against one sect but against the nation as a whole. The huge “Independence 05” rallies displayed an unprecedented degree of national unity… Having yoked their hopes and aspirations to the idyllic prospect of a new national beginning in Lebanon free of foreign tutelage, these citizens could not bear to see their gains dashed by what they perceived to be Syria’s attempt to bring Lebanon under its wing, once again.”

I suppose that this is my way of saying that I can understand Young’s bitterness vis-à-vis the state of the March 14th coalition and his paranoia about what the coming months will bring. However, at the same time, I think that he does not lay enough blame for the movement’s demise at the feet of its leadership. Like Young’s own editorials, March 14th’s leaders have continually looked beyond Lebanon’s borders to situate the source of the movement’s inertia. This was a state of affairs that the United States and the Sunni Arab regimes were only too happy to exploit in order to destabilize a despised regional opponent. As such, the movement never focused its energy on attending to Lebanon’s systemic dysfunctions, and instead tried to shoot the moon by exorcising all of Lebanon’s problems through regime change in Damascus.

It’s probably slightly unfair of me to give Joshua Landis the last word in an article about March 14th and Michael Young, but I believe that he made a strong point along these lines, in a recent email to me. He writes:

Syria is both a blessing and curse to Lebanon. It is a blessing because it acts as the Sultan, stepping in to halt the damage done by Lebanon’s za`ama system and emulous factionalism  It is a curse because it is the Sultan. Authoritarianism is good for stability but not for freedom.

Lebanon has proven that its political system does not produce stable self-government. Its za`ims need an outside arbitrator to mediate their squabbles which turn to violent. Whether the Ottoman Sultan, the French, the Americans or more recently the Syrians, an outside authority has been drawn into Lebanon’s battles to resolve conflicts that Lebanese politicians seem incapable of resolving on their own.

Obama, like Clinton, will buy Syrian good behavior in Lebanon through the promise of lifting sanctions that Bush imposed and by pushing for peace with Israel and the return of the Golan. This will work for a period of time.

Ultimately, the only cure for Lebanon, in my humble opinion, is to reform the confessional system that pits one Lebanese community against another in such a fashion as to undermine a common sense of national identity and purpose. Only then will the Lebanese abandon their need for an external arbiter and inoculate themselves against Syrian influence. So long as the za`ama system leads to deadlock and a zero sum approach to politics, Syria will remain a blessing and curse to Lebanon.

Apologies for a long and rambling post.   Happy Easter.
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Discussion

27 thoughts on ““So much for Lebanon’s so-called Cedar Revolution…”

  1. Dude how delusional does one have to be to expect any good to come out of a “revolution” led by Sheikh Saad the twit and Walid Beik? All the “Hummos Revolution” (tip Angry Arab) really did was replace Rustom Ghazeleh with Rustom Feltman, Rustom Emie, and Rustom Khaweja.For real…

    Posted by Bala Habal | April 10, 2009, 4:03 pm
  2. There’s now a preponderance of dudes calling me ‘dude’. Thanks, alhaqid, for starting the trend.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | April 10, 2009, 4:06 pm
  3. Bala Habal,
    I think one has to give credit to the Lebanese people when speaking about the Cedar revolution, as opposed to the so called “twits”. This is what alot of commentators fail to acknowledge and dismiss that massive day in Martyrs square as another demonstration orchestrated by the twits, where in reality it was a grassroots movement calling for a change in the status quo including in many peoples minds, the toppling of the usual Zuama’…this spontaneous intifida was somewhat hijacked by the twits and consequently has been put out.
    QN,
    perhaps, Micheal Youngs article was dabbed in frustration because he too once believed….but about Syria returning and changing the outcome of the IT, and the rest of it, dont you think its a little paranoic?

    Posted by Maverick | April 10, 2009, 6:00 pm
  4. Maverick,

    I don’t think that Syria will be returning to Lebanon in the same way, but I’m sure that Young doesn’t think so either. It’s the more sinister, remote-control kind of domination that he fears…

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | April 10, 2009, 9:34 pm
  5. Maverick,
    What I don’t understand about views like yours is that it implies that a single political rally is a significant grassroots movement. That is untrue by definition and makes no sense anyway.

    But it is especially strange to view M14 as a political movement when you see them juxtaposed against Hizbullah. In respect to rallies, Hizbullah has had equally large (or larger) political rallies than M14(but more frequently). The difference is that Hizbullah has a political program, and is not reactionary. This, actually, is the reason the twits can take over a “movement” like the M14 rally. Because there is no program, no organization, and no individual action. In this respect Hizbullah is probably the most impressive political movement in the world today. Because, unlike other massive uprisings that have these “spontaneous” political responses, Hizbullah has done more to connect politics to a mass movement than any other organized force in the world that I am aware of.

    So, no wonder M14 is collapsing while Hizbullah is poised to take power. There was never any doubt in the first place, it was just a matter of time.

    QN,
    Do you see the “original spirit” of M14 as simply a rejection of Syria? Because, when you reference that everyone you talked to were original believers (more or less), my questions is, “believers in what?” And I assume you mean that the people you know didn’t want Syria to occupy Lebanon. Ok, fine. Probably even Hizbullah supporters would agree with that.

    But the deeper issue is that people like Michael Young have an entirely different idea of what Lebanon needs. and when he talks about his hopes for M14, he is advocating something more like Condi’s “birth pangs” of a new middle east. And I highly doubt that the majority of Lebanese support this vision. So the twits have to keep obsessing over the death of Hariri, because they have nothing else to offer. But it’s no wonder their movement is falling apart. By getting too close to the “birth pangs” crowd (which half of M14 agree with and the other half just thought they could take advantage of them) spelled their own doom.

    Posted by Joe M. | April 10, 2009, 10:54 pm
  6. Joe,

    All good questions. I’ll just offer my own opinion, but Maverick and others should weigh in too.

    Do you see the “original spirit” of M14 as simply a rejection of Syria? Because, when you reference that everyone you talked to were original believers (more or less), my questions is, “believers in what?”

    Rejection of Syria is probably 75% of it. Syria served as the straw man for “a dense set of accumulated resentments, anxieties, and righteous anger.” And almost everybody (including Hizbullah people) could get on board with this.

    In a way, to understand the spirit of the early March 14 movement, you have to look at the Aounists (who played a huge role in it). Anti-Syrian ideology, coupled with a call for de-confessionalism, economic reform, fighting corruption, etc. were the touchstones of FPM ideology throughout Aoun’s exile. After Hariri was killed, this movement attracted more and more people. So it’s not “just” rejection of Syria; it’s rejection of Syria in order to build a sovereign, independent Lebanese state… of course, that never happened because, as Young says, it wasn’t a true revolution. The king just donned a red badge and pretended to join the rabble.

    The last thing I’d say, though, is that I think you underestimate “rejection of X” as a motivating and driving factor. After all, for the longest time, “rejection of Israel” was the single most important impetus of Hizbullah and plenty of other groups. It’s only in recent years that the Hizb has started to publicly embrace a more political internal cause. (And every now and then, like last night, Nasrallah distances the Hizb from even this cause… cleaving to “muqawama” as the subject at hand).

    But the deeper issue is that people like Michael Young have an entirely different idea of what Lebanon needs. and when he talks about his hopes for M14, he is advocating something more like Condi’s “birth pangs” of a new middle east.

    Yes, he is calling for a revolution of Arab liberalism.

    And I highly doubt that the majority of Lebanese support this vision. So the twits have to keep obsessing over the death of Hariri, because they have nothing else to offer.

    True.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | April 11, 2009, 7:57 am
  7. QN,
    Just to clarify, my point about M14 being a rejection of Syria is a distinct point. But my broader point (which you seemed to confuse with my point about rejection of Syria) was that M14 was reactionary. I am understand that rejection of something can be a powerful motivator, so can reaction to prevailing conditions. But i don’t think a reactionary movement is ever sustainable. a rejectionist one can be.

    Also, my guess is that your 75% number is probably an understatement. But what also made this a strategic failure is that Syria was never as powerful as the average citizen believed (a straw man, as you said). As the twits have no program, they could do nothing but beat that horse so dead that no one can continue to take it seriously anymore.

    Last, when you say, “And almost everybody (including Hizbullah people) could get on board with this.” you are largely expressing why Hizbullah has been successful. Unlike the other political trends, they have created a program that transcends a reactionary framework. So much so that even FPM could get on board. Again, it is a rather remarkable achievement. The serious question for them, and what will determine how successful they are into the future, is how well they can maintain that strategy while also holding to their doctrinaire program. I suspect they will be more flexible than expected, though less flexible militarily (until Israel is neutralized).

    Posted by Joe M. | April 11, 2009, 10:13 am
  8. Joe,

    I know how much you admire Hizbullah, so I know you’re probably not going to take my word for it when I tell you that the Hizb still has a very long way to go before we can say that “they have created a program that transcends a reactionary framework.”

    Smart commentators in even the opposition-friendly media (like Khaled Saghieh and Fawwaz Traboulsi) have been saying for months that while the opposition’s good governance credentials are better than the leaders of M14 (which doesn’t say much), they are still mired in a sectarian mindset, dealing in sectarian rhetoric, and completely opposed to any kind of far-reaching reforms. Where was Hizbullah (or the FPM) when parliament voted on the new election law? Where was their indignance when clause after clause was struck down (on proportional representation, quotas for women MP’s, expat voting, etc etc)?

    Nasrallah is one of the few figures I can listen to and still come away feeling like there are sane, reasonable adults among the political class. But at the same time, the party is still only testing the waters of really political engagement. They remain a black box: a military resistance with substantial social services, deeply committed to a “doctrinaire” program. As flexible as Nasrallah appears to be, it will take time to change direction.

    But it’s a start. I’m looking forward to Nasrallah’s promised series of telecasts, explaining the Hizb’s program. This, to me, is unique in these elections and I’m particularly interested in hearing the first episode, which is devoted to dismantling confessionalism.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | April 11, 2009, 10:38 am
  9. Joe,
    your views on the Hizb is over romantacised for me to have a leveled argument. Theres no special recipe for its success…the organization has exactly what it takes to be where it is.
    Also, you might want to differentiate between the true spirit of the M14 emenating from a fed up populace, to the actual M14 inc. Yes the movements flames are burning out thanks to the twits, but that does not mean that the people will automatically jump to the other side.

    Posted by Maverick | April 12, 2009, 12:54 am
  10. Maverick,
    To clarify, I do not support very much of Hizbullah’s program (though, I do support the resistance portion). But I constantly marvel at them as an organization. I am a leftist, and Hizbullah is a typical Islamist/capitalist movement. But I consider them THE model to be emulated in terms of political organizing.

    As for the true spirit of M14 emanating from a fed up populace, I disagree with this statement. This fails to make a distinction between general anger at politics, and any particular program. If we argue that the true spirit of M14 is that the people want to live in a utopia, then all the world is M14 too. But that is simply ridiculous. Because the population is angry does not transfer directly to M14, even if the twits tried with all their (and the USA and Israel’s) might to make that connection. And again, this is the point I was making about M14 being a reactionary phenomenon (not a “movement”). Fortunately they failed, as was their destiny (just as all the other reactionary and puppet Arab rulers will too. Reactionaries only survive through a monopoly of violence).

    I had not been following Aoun prior to his deal with Hizbullah, but from QN’s description of the FPM above, you would come to believe that they are the true M14 (if we go by the “true spirit” test, based on the “dense set of accumulated resentments, anxieties, and righteous anger” standard). Obviously, that’s not so.

    My point is more broad than just speaking of M14, though I will use them as an example. The reason Hizbullah is a successful movement and M14 is an empty, reactionary shell, is that M14 twits were M14 and they tried to capitalize on discontent to push their own goals, while Hizbullah has been planting the seeds of it’s program for over a decade. And this is an important difference that cannot be overstated.

    Posted by Joe M. | April 12, 2009, 2:02 am
  11. Joe,
    Your still seeing the M14 in your own way ( or the way M8 enthusiasts portray M14)…as an American/Zionist project led by Zuama who are corrupt and want to further their own interests.Its not about Harriri/Geagea/Joumblatt….there are a huge number of politicians/journalists/writers/thinkers/etc who are part of M14 and a massive chunk of the population who couldnt care less about the twits, but still adhere to the M14 principles of Soveriegnty, independance and the what not.
    In a way this movement was successful in firstly, opening a new page in Lebanese history where the nationalist movement didnt belong to one group or another but a unified rank from all the walks of life in |Lebanons mixed society.The national flag replaced the flags of political parties and confessional identities. “Lebanon first”.
    It has removed the Gestapo-like grip hold of the rulers of Sham and Anjar and claimed its independance.
    It withstood huge amounts of pressure and threats, not to mention assassinations to keep the independence movement alive….and managed to bring about the International tribunal to fruition.
    It managed to stay alive after economic paralysis, sit ins, military take overs,blocking laws in parliament etc.
    Now, im not here to glorify the M14 but I would refute the claim that they are an “empty, reactionary shell” as you have suggested.
    For all thier incompetence and recycled rhetoric, the main figures kept it together despite the barrage of obstacles..and as for the people of M14 ( and remember those who are not M14, but neutral, in a way is supporting M14) will never fathom or swallow a Syrian/Hizb domination of Lebanon after all that theyve seen and been through.

    Posted by Maverick | April 12, 2009, 2:27 pm
  12. Joe,

    You wrote (to Maverick): I do not support very much of Hizbullah’s program (though, I do support the resistance portion). But I constantly marvel at them as an organization. I am a leftist, and Hizbullah is a typical Islamist/capitalist movement. But I consider them THE model to be emulated in terms of political organizing.

    Now you’re confusing me. The reason you refer to Hizbullah as “the most impressive political movement in the world today” is because they’re organized? Joe, there are plenty of organized movements in the world. Are you as impressed with the Democratic and Republican parties? Actually, March 14th is pretty damn organized too… they’ve been sloppy lately but between 2005-06 their political organizing was a spectacle to behold.

    The reason Hizbullah is a successful movement and M14 is an empty, reactionary shell, is that M14 twits were M14 and they tried to capitalize on discontent to push their own goals, while Hizbullah has been planting the seeds of it’s program for over a decade.

    Yes, but doesn’t it matter that it’s a program that you mostly disagree with? Doesn’t that count at all, or is it made irrelevant by the fact that they know how to organize?

    To be honest, the organizational aspect of Hizbullah is one of the ones that I’m most wary about. Isn’t there a point at which a leftist begins to wonder if “organization” and “sowing seeds” is starting to cross the line into indoctrination?

    Once upon a time, the Lebanese forces and the Kata’eb were tremendously organized, and performed many of the same social service functions that Hizbullah provides today. But we tend to call them fascists. Why the double standard?

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | April 12, 2009, 3:05 pm
  13. In responding to Joe, I confused myself in the process. But QN managed to take advantage of the holes in Joes argument.
    It seems the “Left”in this region are happy in their cosyness with Islamist/militant movements, but these strange bedfellows make for alot of confusion amongst the ranks in the left and as a lefty, or having an affinty with leftist politics… Im whacked!

    Posted by Maverick | April 12, 2009, 5:46 pm
  14. QN,
    Just like George Habash said before he died, I think the left has failed and I simply think it is time to give the Islamists a chance. If Amal was in Hizbullah’s place, I would be considerably more worried. But Hizbullah was not born yesterday, and we have a fairly long history of watching it, and of seeing their (general) humility in action. Now, I disagree with a substantial portion of their program, but I am also willing to give them the benefit of the doubt because of their history. So I do not think there is a double standard.

    As for the organizing capacity, I have watched many political movements in my life and never seen one that impresses me like Hizbullah does. Many groups have their own boy scouts, and every group indoctrinates to some degree. But Hizbullah has managed to fuse its politics, social program and ideology in an unmatched way. But also been flexible enough to compromise from a position of power. This is different than the democrats, the republicans, M14, the IRA, the ANC… or any other mass movement I have ever seen. And they do it collectively, rather than based on their za’am status.

    That said, I disagree with a significant portion of their program. I also agree with a significant portion of their program. As long as they continue to emphasize the part of the program that I agree with, I will support them.

    And Maverick,
    To claim Syria had a “Gestapo-like grip” on Syria is exactly my point. M14 is an empty shell. All it has is the ability to demagogue against Syria. Ok, fine, Syria is no saint. But also, it’s not the devil. And it doesn’t control Lebanon. Also, it was never as powerful as M14 likes to claim. And many of the twits of M14 were Syria’s proxies in Lebanon for decades. So, please, look in a mirror before you start criticizing.

    Posted by Joe M. | April 12, 2009, 8:01 pm
  15. It isnt the M14 figures who are swaying its followers to demagogue against Syria…but that the majority of the Lebanese people sought to end the Syrian hegemony that led the M14 figures to demagogue against syria and use this discretion to further their popularity, not the other way around as you have reiterated over and over in your over simplified view of M14.This disatisfaction epitomised on 14 March 2005 that led to the so called Cedar revolution in which we have opposing views in this regard.
    Now theories aside, through collective memory and personal anecdotes, I can say that the regime in Syria had thousands of Moukhabarat agents throughout Lebanon, along with checkpoints to keep the populace in check.Add to this, silencing of critics, shutting down anti-Syrian outlets and voices, controling parliament, government and other institutions through force, and the sponging of billions of dollars per year and not to mention, kidnappings, jailing and murders of citizens….we can say defenately, that it is no saint….devil? perhaps not to its own people but it had flagrant disregard for the Lebanese and used this country to further its own interest (through Lebanese proxies including some on the M14 as you have said).
    So, naturally calling for independance and sovereignty was an inevitability and this fact should not be politicised…

    Posted by Maverick | April 12, 2009, 8:34 pm
  16. I agree that Syria is/was bad. I just don’t agree that it is uniformly bad. As QN said above, even Hizbullah people could support Syria leaving. I personally supported it. Does that mean I am M14?

    And, again, this is my point, and why M14 is not a movement. M14 was a single cause political outburst that a group of imbeciles managed to co-opt for their own political advantage. And what is that advantage? As far as I can tell, for the Christian M14 it is sectarianism, for the Hariri M14 it is economic exploitation, for a section of independent M14 it is fear of Hizbulah/racism, for the Michael Young M14 it is the “birth pangs”, for some it is a demilitarization of Lebanon (ie. against Hizbullah’s weapons). These people are in power now, so blame them for their own failures. and a key reason for the failure (excluding incompetence or corruption) is that they tried to take advantage of popular discontent without having having contributed to building it.

    People credit Hizbullah for a lot of success. and Hizbullah has created that success through struggle and over time. Thus, people will stick with Hizbullah through thick and thin, and they know that Hizbullah is worth trusting. Trust Hariri inc? Only if you have land you want turned into a Virgin megastore (ok, I admit I have not been to Lebanon for a few years).

    Posted by Joe M. | April 13, 2009, 2:58 am
  17. Qifa Nabki,

    First, … Happy Easter.

    You said:

    “The last thing I’d say, though, is that I think you underestimate “rejection of X” as a motivating and driving factor. After all, for the longest time, “rejection of Israel” was the single most important impetus of Hizbullah and plenty of other groups. It’s only in recent years that the Hizb has started to publicly embrace a more political internal cause. (And every now and then, like last night, Nasrallah distances the Hizb from even this cause… cleaving to “muqawama” as the subject at hand).

    You seem to imply that there is a similarity between the case of Hizbollah growing from a single-issue (anti Israel) party to a much more influential and long lasting force, and the case of M14 which started as an anti Syrian movement.

    But there are some differences which probably will ensure that M14 will not grow as well as HA did.

    1) M14′s leaders are not comparable to Nasrallah. THEY were, and they will continue to be part of the problem for their M14 movement. Foolish leadership that is too slow to learn and to adapt.

    2) Nasrallh’s enemy (Israel) killed over 1000 innocent Lebanese in 2006 … M14′s enemy (Syria) opened its borders to 250,000 Lebanese refugees during that same war.

    Hizbollah picked the real enemy, M14 tried to manufacture an enemy out of Syria.

    There is a limit to how far they can continue to try to gather 50%+ of the Lebanese people behind their “defending Lebanon against Syrian hegemony” cause.

    Posted by Alex | April 13, 2009, 7:24 am
  18. Alex habibi

    Waynak ya zalameh? Didn’t you receive the ten crates of olive oil that I sent you to spend more time leaving comments on my blog? So ungrateful, the older generation…

    I think you misunderstood my point. I completely agree with you about the differences between M14 and Hizbullah. And for the record, I don’t think that M14 is going to grow… period. I actually think that the coalition is dead, but the postmortem will not be delivered until after June 7. So there’s no chance of it challenging the Hizb, in terms of longevity.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | April 13, 2009, 9:34 am
  19. “older generation”??

    And you expect me to participate here in the future?

    : )

    Posted by Alex | April 13, 2009, 10:14 am
  20. My bet is that M14 or at least the part that matters (i.e. Harriri) will move to neutralize Hizbullah by, funny enough, allying with it. While both might hold grudges against each other, neither party has illusions about that the fact that they need to work their differences through a broad coalition if Lebanon is to avoid drifting toward sectarian violence once again. That is of course if God and more importantly KSA & Syria are willing.

    The only problem I foresee is if one side wins June 7 with a landslide and refuses to cater to the opposition’s demands. So I am hoping for an even split election result for the sake of everybody.

    May I have my olive oil crates now?

    Posted by Innocent Criminal | April 13, 2009, 3:40 pm
  21. IC

    Nice to see you here! Where have you been?

    I agree with your analysis. But I don’t think anyone is going to win in a landslide. The difference will probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of a 4-10 seat split.

    The only potentially troublesome outcome on the horizon is a M14 win where the opposition is not granted a blocking veto. That could lead to trouble like we had in 2007-08. I fully expect Hizbullah and its allies to boycott the cabinet in that case.

    “Mike”,

    You are free to leave comments here, but I ask that you use a real email address. Cheers.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | April 13, 2009, 8:49 pm
  22. DEAR QN

    IT SEEMS LIKE AT LEAST 4 YOU, THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHERSIDE, HA SIDE.
    THE BEAUTIFUL PICTURE YOU PORTRAYED HA WITH DOES NOT MATCH REALITY AT ALL.
    IT IS TRUE THAT M14 LEADERS DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH GUTS TO GO ALL THE WAY WITH THEIR CEDAR REV. IT IS TRUE THAT IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO BE ON THE RIGHT SIDE YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW TO FIGHT FOR YOUR OWN RIGHT, IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO ACCEPT THE ROLE OF A VICTIM FOR OVER 4 YEARS REACTING AND DEFENDING INSTEAD OF ATTACKING OTHERS POLITICALLY, MILITARILY … LIKE M8 LEADERS.
    BUT THEN AGAIN I AM AFFRAID TO IMAGINE WHAT WOULD BE THE ALTERNATIVE IN THE EVENT THE COUNTRY IS LEFT ENTIRELY IN THE HANDS OF M8 FOLKS. FROM HA TO MR AOUN TO MR FRANGIEH TO WAHHAB AND COS. A LOT OF INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS INTERESTED IN COMING TO LEBANON THIS SUMMER ARE WAITING FOR THE RESULTS OF THESE ELECTIONS. MOST OF THEM WOULD RATHER SEE M14 CANDIDATES WIN THE 2009 ELECTIONS DESPITE ALL THEIR SHORTCOMINGS.

    Posted by SOLOFAR | April 13, 2009, 11:30 pm

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