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Confessionalism or Cronyism?

How much of the current fight about administrative appointments is about sectarian politics, and how much of it is just about politics? When one hears reports about how so-and-so is demanding that such-and-such position is given to this or that sect, it’s tempting to get up on the soapbox and proclaim that confessionalism is rearing … Continue reading

Picking on Berri

The only issue of real import in Lebanon these days — as far as political reform is concerned — is Nabih Berri’s controversial call to establish a committee to explore the ways and means to abolish political sectarianism. Yes, you heard me right. Berri has called a meeting. A brown bag lunch. A coffee hour. And everybody … Continue reading

The Inside Scoop on U.S. Military Aid to the LAF

I know you’re all probably bored stiff with the discussion about US military funding to the Lebanese Army, but I couldn’t pass this one up. The following commentary was sent to me by a former official who has intimate firsthand knowledge of US-Lebanese military affairs. It is published here at QN with their permission. ** I’ve … Continue reading

In Beirut

Well, Air France lost my luggage. My video monitor on the plane was busted, so I ended up reading Geoff Dyer’s new novel Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi in one sitting. It’s so hot here that my annual ritual of going skiing and swimming in one day is not going to be an option. … Continue reading

The Saga Continues: Nicholas Noe Responds to Schenker, Hokayem

Nicholas Noe sent me this commentary to publish at QN; it’s a response to the debate about U.S. military funding for the Lebanese Army that we’ve hosted here over the past week. In other news, check out a preview of Jesse Aizenstat’s book on surfing in southern Lebanon. Also, the new Arab Reform Bulletin is … Continue reading

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