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Free Patriotic Movement

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Lebanon’s New Government (Feb 15, 2014)

After nearly eleven months (329 days to be exact), Lebanon has a new government. Some thoughts are forthcoming about why the process took so long, what happened to facilitate it, and what this suggests about a shifting regional picture on the situation in Syria, but in the meantime, here are some quick observations: There are … Continue reading

Lebanon Spent Nearly Two of Last Four and a Half Years Without a Government

There has been some movement in recent days on the cabinet formation stalemate. Saad Hariri agreed to join a national unity government with Hizbullah, a welcome development after months of deadlock. How many months precisely? Nearly ten. Tammam Salam was appointed PM-designate on April 6, 2013. As you will recall, Lebanon’s previous premier Najib Mikati … Continue reading

Abbas on Syria

I’m in Beirut for a few weeks this month, seeing family and attending weddings. The mood is eerily pleasant, though now that the Eid has passed everyone seems to be bracing themselves for the return to arms. I caught up with my friend Abbas yesterday. Some of you may remember him from his appearances in … Continue reading

Our Oily Future

Lebanon’s Ministry of Energy and Water has launched a new campaign promoting the benefits of off-shore oil exploration for the average citizen. The ads contain shots of smiling people aside captions like: “My children and I are staying in Lebanon“… or “My future is in Lebanon“… or… “I’m going back to work in Lebanon!“ Another … Continue reading

Mikati’s Resignation Signals the Collapse of the Lebanese Idea, Renewed Civil War, and the End of the World as We Know It

The media reaction to the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati last week has been puzzling, from my perspective. CNN says that the resignation “throws Lebanon’s politics in turmoil” while The Economist warns the Lebanese to “be careful,” as “Lebanon’s delicate sectarian system is in danger of falling apart.” Not to second-guess the propensity of the … Continue reading

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