Hezbollah, Lebanon

National Dialogue

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.

(For those of you reading via RSS, be sure to click the link to come over and vote on the importance of this initiative for addressing Lebanon’s “national defense strategy”).

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Discussion

10 thoughts on “National Dialogue

  1. “They’re going around in circles and each camp is holding its ground,” he added. “It’s like a debating club: you argue but no decision is ever taken.”

    Humm…And who is the -very tall, it seems- dead thing inside the coffin, under the white flowers?

    Posted by mj | March 10, 2010, 6:43 am
  2. Last time around, in QN’s round table picture, delicious looking birds were displayed all over . This time around, not only there is a dead body in the middle, but no food whatsoever in sight! So WJ, who on this occasion was apparently not allowed to bring his gun in, had to simply leave when he, poor thing,”got hungry and sleepy”.
    http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&F976FF42EC8DE9B9C22576E200249F8F

    Posted by mj | March 10, 2010, 7:12 am
  3. I don’t really know what there is to discuss. The Resistance is not really a matter to be discussed; it is a national obligation and duty, and anyone who opposes the resistance is acting as an active collaborator. Besides, the Resistance is already well-armed and well-prepared for any future conflict, so what is the point of these discussions?

    Posted by Nour | March 10, 2010, 7:04 pm
  4. Nour said: anyone who opposes the resistance is acting as an active collaborator.

    I guess a significant portion of Lebanon’s population are “active collaborators” then. It’s a wonder they haven’t all been rounded up, charged with treason, and hung in Martyrs’ Square.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | March 10, 2010, 9:37 pm
  5. I am sick and tired of this baathist or Khomeini style blanket accusations of treason against anyone who criticizes or opposes the so called divine resistance
    Really there is no sense in discussing anything with these people anymore.
    They always win!
    Mabrook 3alaykon lebnein el asfar
    Erfany el denyee erfany blebnein el asfar

    Allah yer7ameek ya Fayruz !!

    Posted by V | March 11, 2010, 3:19 am
  6. “it’s a wonder they haven’t all been rounded up, charged with treason, and hung in Martyrs’ Square.”

    Shows the level of our compassion….:)

    But Nour is right about one thing. What is the point of these talks when one side is going into them as talks about how the resistance can be made amenable to the other, or at least find a way they can live with it, while the other is going into them as talk about how to disband it. They dont even agree what it is they are going to talk about! Its the Lebanese version of Who’s on first.

    Posted by mo | March 11, 2010, 6:16 am
  7. A completely unrelated question, but one I feel I’d find an answer to on this board.

    Why did Jamil el Sayyed file his charges in a Syrian court? When one considers that all the charges contained in his suit were committed in Lebanon, by Lebanese.

    http://www.naharnet.com/domino/tn/NewsDesk.nsf/getstory?openform&C29DE37A8FF53FB1C22576E300219D12

    Does Syria have a universal jurisdiction legal system that can try crimes committed outside its territory? And I thought universal jurisdiction only applied if it was a crime against humanity and not an individual human.

    If this is the case can we bring charges against Israeli leaders in the Syrian court system? And why has no one done this yet?

    Thanks.

    Posted by Johnny | March 11, 2010, 11:55 am
  8. I’ve deleted the two most recent comments by AP and Mo because I don’t want this to turn into yet another yawn-fest about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    Thanks.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | March 11, 2010, 12:49 pm
  9. Johnny,

    There is some sort of agreement between the Lebanese and Syrian Judicial Ministries which Sayyed believes covers his charges and he filed his charges in Syria because many of those summoned would have total immunity in Lebanon.

    Saying that, I’m not sure the Judicial agreement was ever expected to be used by a Lebanese versus another Lebanese and vice versa so I’m not sure how grey an area this is legalistically.

    Posted by mo | March 11, 2010, 12:51 pm
  10. Damn repression of free speech!

    (Ed. note: I’ve deleted your last comment as well.) 😉

    Posted by mo | March 11, 2010, 1:11 pm

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