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March 14

This category contains 123 posts

Of FreeCell and Phone Chargers: A Lebanese Parable

Lebanese politics often resembles a game of FreeCell to me. Or, for the millennials among us: 2048, which I often catch my students playing on their phones before class begins. For long stretches, the board is locked down. There is an occasional opening, a small shift in the grid, but it comes to nothing. Hardly anything moves for several rounds … Continue reading

Masters and Disciples

I’ve written something about the cabinet formation for The New Yorker’s News Desk blog. First graf is below, with a jump to the full piece. Come on back here to comment. ** Lebanon’s War in Syria The birth of a new government in Lebanon is often greeted with ironic festivity. People pass around trays of baklava … Continue reading

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

The Wheels of Justice…

Whether you regard the Special Tribunal for Lebanon as a transparent (if expensive and plodding) search for the truth about the Hariri assassination, or a Zionist conspiracy against the last bastion of anti-imperialist resistance in the Arab world, today is a historic day. The UN court that was established to try the men accused of … Continue reading

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