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In Search of an Endgame

Is Prime Minister Hariri’s government about to be toppled? This is the main question on people’s minds in Lebanese policy circles, to gauge from various conversations I had in Washington DC this week. Certainly, all signs in Beirut point to the brewings of a major clash over the government’s support for the U.N. Special Tribunal … Continue reading

Words and Things

Surveying the Lebanese political landscape today, one can’t help but be struck by the disparity in rhetorical competence between the two major political groupings. If there were a fantasy sports game based on Lebanese politics in which a player’s stock was tied to their charisma and oratorical abilities, how many March 14 figures would you … Continue reading

Are the Gloves Coming Off?

A week ago, Jamil al-Sayyed’s threats sounded like the rantings of Uncle Junior: unintelligible, inconsequential, and frankly a little embarrassing to the whole family. `Uqab Saqr (who seems to have become Saad al-Hariri’s unofficial spokesman) dismissed the ex-security chief as a mentally unbalanced has-been, and added that his threats do not reflect the positions of … Continue reading

Parsing a Mea Culpa

The big news in Lebanese politics these days is Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s exoneration of Syria in the matter of his father’s assassination. Here’s the relevant section of last week’s interview in Al-Sharq al-Awsat: وقال الحريري: «فتحت صفحة جديدة في العلاقة مع سورية منذ تأليف الحكومة». وتابع: «يجب على المرء أن يكون واقعيا في هذه … Continue reading

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