Today, Lebanon launched the first session of its much-anticipated “national dialogue” talks. The meeting, held under the auspices of President Michel Suleiman at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, lasted two hours, and everyone who is anyone was there: Hariri, Jumblatt, Aoun, Geagea, Frangieh, Raad (representing Nasrallah), etc.
In most other countries, two hours would be plenty of time for a substantive meeting between political leaders. The way Aaron Sorkin tells it, billions of dollars and thousands of U.S. troops are moved across the globe in the time it takes to walk from Josh Lyman’s office down the hall to the coffee maker.
In Lebanon, though, two hours is apparently just enough time for everyone to arrive fashionably late, greet each other while exchanging news and pleasantries, have coffee, smoke a cigar, and agree to adjourn the talks until a to-be-determined date in the future.
After all, here’s what happened the last time they got together.
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