Hezbollah, Lebanon, March 14

Lebanese Government Falls, Consultations to Select New PM Begin Monday

I’ll have a fuller discussion of the political situation at Foreign Policy‘s Mideast channel later today. In the meantime, here are some brief updates and links to good pieces of commentary and analysis.

President Michel Suleiman has said that he will begin consultations to select a new Prime Minister on Monday. Hizbullah MP Mohammed Raad has already thrown down the gauntlet, as it were, by saying that Hizbullah will be pushing for a premier with a pro-resistance record (figures such as Salim al-Hoss and Omar Karami come to mind, although it is unlikely that they would cross Hariri in this instance.) Have a look here at the Orange Room’s amusing discussion of potential March 8 prime ministers.

The consultations will obviously be complicated by the issue of where Jumblatt decides to hang his hat. Because of Jumblatt’s defection from March 14th, Hariri only has 60 MPs in Parliament, which falls short of a 65-vote majority. This does not mean that Jumblatt will line up with the opposition, but he may elect to play some kind of a mediating role: supporting Hariri while going along with some of the opposition’s conditions.

Here are some links to further reading material (these will be updated throughout the day):

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Discussion

70 thoughts on “Lebanese Government Falls, Consultations to Select New PM Begin Monday

  1. Speaking of the Orange room, funny thing just happened. They had a poll to vote for favorite next PM, with a link on the main news tracker on Tayyar.org. I clicked on it and to my surprise Hariri was leading Layla Solh by far. He had around 50% and Solh around 35%.

    I checked the link 2 hours later and now the results are different!! Admnistrator closed the poll and changed the numbers to have Solh at number one claiming “people were cheating”.

    http://forum.tayyar.org/f8/1605-1606-1605-1585-1588-1581-1603-1604-1585-1574-1575-1587-1577-1575-1604-1608-1586-1585-1575-1569-1567-a-44429/

    Posted by Wael | January 13, 2011, 2:40 pm
  2. None of the above, go back to my comment some months ago. Saudi Arabia has been grooming Laila al Solh.

    Posted by i.e. Lubanan | January 13, 2011, 2:42 pm
  3. Just posted this on the last post but it would be more appropriate here.

    Well it would be interesting to analyze what HA and Hariri want in order to predict what will happen next.

    Hariri wants the STL to procede all the way until at least the verdict stage, and wants nothing internally in Lebanon to stifle that, and in addition he want NO civil strife. However, he and HA know that any actions in Lebanon will have a very minimal effect on stifling the actual work of the STL.

    As for HA, they want, in order of importance, Hariri to disavow the STL and they want the government to take any and all actions that will not only cast doubt on the STL’s findings but also any action that will stifle and paralyze the STL.

    So, Harir will not disavow the STL, and he will be happy to sit on the sidelines and not be the next PM. However, he will want M14 to participate in the government and act as a counter force to any efforts by HA that will stifle the STL. I think the only concession HA gave Hariri in the S-S deal was to keep him a s PM. He, rightfully so, gave them the proverbial middle finger and told them No Deal. So in that light, he expects, and cares less, for not being the next PM.

    HA probably wants to be in the government to do whatever little it can do now to stifle the STL and, more importantly, gain some legitimacy as part of the Lebanese governments when the indictments are handed down.

    So the only way out is a government headed by Mikati with the approval of Hariri and with equal representation by M8 and M14. Jumblatt will make sure that this is what happens as a hedge and a compromise amongst M8 and M14.

    QN, could you give us a tally as to how many members of parliament each party has. I don’t think that M8 has the majority now, assuming Jumblatt is with M8 because Jumblatt has power only on 3 or 4 of the parliamentarians in his 10 member bloc.

    Posted by MM | January 13, 2011, 2:52 pm
  4. To Wael’s point does anyone else find it amusing that the bar showing how many votes Leila Solh has is “Orange”

    Posted by MM | January 13, 2011, 2:57 pm
  5. Wow. Those folks at the Orange forums must have an average age of 12.
    It blows my mind how childish people can be.

    And these people expect to be taken seriously by the rest of the world? There’s a very good reason why the “grown-ups” in Washington, Paris, Tel Aviv, Riyadh, Tehran and elswhere laugh at us…

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 13, 2011, 3:02 pm
  6. Thanassis Cambanis who? The one who does not speak Arabic and who spent a few months in Lebanon and came up with an ignorant book (he exhibits more ignorance in the NY Times article) on Hizbullah and Muslim Shiites with a racist cover on its front-page?

    Posted by NR | January 13, 2011, 3:19 pm
  7. Nr’s usual bravado not withstanding, I do believe that Mr. Cambanis has a very clear crystal ball that is not limited only to the present but that does see into the foreseeable future , as a good crystal ball must. Lebanon has witnessed the climax of HA power and hegemony. This does not mean that it will be a precipitous drop but a diminution it will be.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 13, 2011, 3:36 pm
  8. Mikati made it clear he is not in the game. Omar and Hoss dare not take up the challenge. QN forgot to mention another name, abd rahim Mrad, that the HA camp is floating – a Syrian dream that will come true when hell freezes

    Speaking of crystal balls, mine is telling me next PM is either Hariri or Seniora.

    Posted by anonymous | January 13, 2011, 3:51 pm
  9. Thanassis Cambanis is really silly. “the Party of God has fully consolidated its control in Lebanon, and will stop at nothing — including civil war — to protect its position.”

    give me a break!

    Posted by Joe M. | January 13, 2011, 3:51 pm
  10. Ghassan;

    I concur. However, the reason is because HA has seen its halo or whatever the divine equivalent is in Shiite sect blown off its head after May 2008. HA is bullying its way to get what it wants. There’s nothing democratic in the way Lebanon has been governed or controlled in the past years.
    HA is at crossroads. They cannot hide behind their divinity of a resistance movement. They are being morphed into a new existence. An organized and quasi legal terrorist entity. There is no other way to describe them; as the way they have behaved and threatened everyone with barbarism of cutting tongues and limbs of their dissenters!

    Again; my conviction is that no other Sunni person has a chance of being nominated for the post of PM. This stalemate will last at least till the next elections or another HA staged coup of some sort!

    QN; again please understand that WJ does NOT control the “gathering”‘s decisions when it comes to this issue. Only PSP MPs will follow him…and if i am not wrong they are only six (even then Hamadeh will go M14)…

    Redo your calculations….

    RIP.

    Posted by danny | January 13, 2011, 3:56 pm
  11. **Sorry-((( RIP the country called Lebanon…

    Posted by danny | January 13, 2011, 3:58 pm
  12. Danny

    If the MPs don’t stick with Jumblatt, they will be compromising their political careers. But let’s say you’re right and Hariri manages to hold on to a majority in Parliament. What then? He gets re-nominated as PM through a brute force vote. Then he has to form a government, which Hizbullah and AMAL will refuse to join, which takes us back to 2006.

    There’s no elegant way for him to get back to the premiership.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | January 13, 2011, 4:07 pm
  13. QN,

    Sure he (Hariri) can. He can form a colorless government.

    As for those MP’s, they will actually be compromising their political career if they STICK with Jumblatt if he chooses to oppose Hariri. They know well enough they are voted in with Hariri constituents. Check demographics.

    (Sorry for duplicate comment with misspelled name entry)

    Posted by anonymous | January 13, 2011, 4:27 pm
  14. QN,
    Do you think that the Wikileaks information is paying a roll in this? i haven’t been following, but i would guess that the two things at play are the tribunal and the wikileaks info. and hizbullah sees this as an opportunity to address both.

    Posted by Joe M. | January 13, 2011, 4:28 pm
  15. Where does Syria stand in all of this. Were they behind the M8 walkout or they simply lost any leverage over HA? Syria’s forte is double talk irrespective of what’s they’ve been feeding the Saudis or the French.

    Posted by MLK | January 13, 2011, 4:31 pm
  16. So what would be the different if Layla Al Solh is to be nominated as a PM? We would have in effect changed one Saudi billionaire with another:-)

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 13, 2011, 4:37 pm
  17. MLK, obviously you have not been following. Syria instructed M8 to walk out. But, it is not that M8 did not want to walk out on their own either.

    Posted by anonymous | January 13, 2011, 4:59 pm
  18. so Hariri is the sunni choice without comprimise

    Berri is the shiite choice without comprimise

    could the reason we are in this mess be that we don’t have a Christian strongman as President representing the christian community? Why are the christians comprimising their leader?

    Posted by tamer k. | January 13, 2011, 5:10 pm
  19. *compromise

    Posted by tamer k. | January 13, 2011, 5:11 pm
  20. QN,

    You are posing a question if Amal & HA refuse to join? Here’s one for you: What if FM refuses to join any government led by a “sunni” “puppet” who does not represent that sect? You seem to be answering your question (it works both ways)!
    As for Hariri; once nominated he will endlessly say he is trying to form a new government based on national coexistence (blah blah)…while he acts as a caretaker…

    Now as for WJ; I think he has lost faith with a lot of the Druse. He will NOT try to antagonise the types of Hamadeh as in “election” time WJ might end up being the loser (of MPs at least)!

    Posted by danny | January 13, 2011, 5:29 pm
  21. ** A lot of Druse have lost faith in WJ because of his flip into Syrian lap dog pound!!**

    Posted by danny | January 13, 2011, 5:31 pm
  22. This is an excellent analysis by Rajeh Al-Khouri. He considers almost all the scenarios as well as the events that led to the current situation. He presents it in concise point by point form. Please notice his seventh point in which he clearly shows that M8 reneged on its word it made in Doha,

    http://www.annahar.com/content.php?table=makalat&type=makalat&priority=9&day=Thu

    We do not really have politicians who can deliver on their own promises. So, why do we have to listen to Aoun, Bassil, Raad and others blaming outsiders?

    A question to Prophett,

    From the above article, it is clear M8 reneged on its word. So your whole theory about Suleiman not being able to play neutral falls to pieces. Let me also put things in perspective. M8 DEMANDED a meeting of the government from Suleiman or else. According to the constitution only the PM has the authority to call such meetings. In effect, M8 not only reneged on its word in Doha but also challenged the prerogatives of the PM. And FYI, Suleiman did relay that request to Hariri and the answer was that has to wait until he’s back in Beirut.

    So M8 did not respect its own word and it did not respect the constitution. It looks like they would have to answer to quite few charges when the blame game is played.

    Another quetsion also to Prophett: Why should anyone believe HNA or any other member of M8 from now on? HNA reneged in 2006, in 2008, on the STL, and on Doha.

    So who are we dealing with here?

    Posted by anonymous | January 13, 2011, 5:34 pm
  23. QN #12 says “But let’s say you’re right and Hariri manages to hold on to a majority in Parliament. What then? He gets re-nominated as PM through a brute force vote. Then he has to form a government, which Hizbullah and AMAL will refuse to join, which takes us back to 2006.”

    DING DING DING! We have a winner.
    This is precisely what I am predicting. 2006-2008 all over again until the next “Doha”.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 13, 2011, 5:39 pm
  24. Tamer [18]:

    LoL.

    The christians are trying to figure out who will butter their breads.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 13, 2011, 5:39 pm
  25. @tamerk 18,

    Because unlike the Sunnis and Shia, the Christians have been marginalized and divided since the 1975-90 civil war (much of their own doing, I might add).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 13, 2011, 5:42 pm
  26. BV..

    They were trying to figure out who’ll be buttering their breads back them as well.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 13, 2011, 5:47 pm
  27. I don’t quite think that exactly accurate really, Gabriel.
    “Trying to figure out who would butter your bread” implies a degree of cynicism and a bit of playing both sides against the middle.
    I think the Christian community in Lebanon has been (and still is) far too wrapped up in their delusions of grandeur and past glories. I think it’s a community who is now utterly reactive, rather than proactive or “playing” anyone. It’s a community who’s every action is guided by fear and paranoia. Look no further at how easy it was to convince so many Christians that the real danger is now the Sunnis (as opposed to pre 1990s fears of Palestinians and Shia). Look no further than the extremely short-sighted Boutros Harb apartheid proposal. And so on.
    It’s a community adrift, with practically no will of its own, buffeted back and forth between much bigger forces than it can control or guide and reacting out of fear and close-mindedness to every damn little thing.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 13, 2011, 5:57 pm
  28. I didn’t think the title selected by the editors fit the oped I wrote. Hezbollah is acting in a shrewd and Machiavellian manner to protect its interests and positions — and in no way like it’s willing to blow itself up. They might have made a more fitting wordplay on the idea of “holding the government hostage.”

    Posted by Thanassis Cambanis | January 13, 2011, 5:58 pm
  29. One sentence didn’t make the above post:

    The main reason the Shia get their no-compromise choice and the Sunnis get theirs, and the Christians do not is as simple as “The Christians have become completely irrelevant as a community.”

    Might be a harsh statement, but it is true.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 13, 2011, 5:59 pm
  30. anon #22,
    Would you rather have March 8 abide by the unconstitutional Doha agreement in order to preserve an ineffective cabinet? I , for one, never had any use or respect for Doha. No self respecting democracy would take away from its cabinet members the right to resign, that would be similar to all these labour unions that give up their right to strike. It is simply undemocratic and unconstitutional. If the result of this crisis is a one colour government then that by itself, irrespective of which group prevails, is a step in the right direction. If , on the other hand, we are to end up with an equally unworkable solution then that would be folly. Old wine in new glasses anyone?

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 13, 2011, 5:59 pm
  31. Anon,22
    I was put out a possible scenario, not defending or blaming anyone.
    As far as who to blame for the current situation, it’s everyone. I’m not getting into that now though. So if you’re looking for a showdown with me, I hate to disappoint you, you‘re not getting one.lol
    The article by Rajeh Al-Khouri confirms the points I made in my scenario; Where the calculated move by M8 to bring down the cabinet was designed to leave the country in a political vacuum
    ,Where Hariri can’t form a government, no other Sunni leader can, and No M8
    government to take the heat either.
    So you are dealing with a situation where Lebanon has no government to answer to the UN or the STL. Again, this is not what I’m advocating at all, it is simply my reading of what will happen.
    WHEN I said that SHN Will speak, in the coming days, I was not suggesting that you believe or not believe what He says. I imply said that,because when He speak, He most likely will talk about specific steps that HA and M8 will take. Basically it will be news. People have the right to evaluate what he says as they wish.

    Posted by prophett | January 13, 2011, 6:01 pm
  32. Ghassan 30,

    I do not think Rajeh was defending Doha, neither was I in favour of that arrangement. The point that he made which I highlighted is the fact that we have a group incapable of keeping its promises while blaming that failure on outsiders. Your argument that the right to resign should not be taken away is well taken. But that is not the only promise that M8 reneged on. They used every opportunity to make the cabinet dysfunctional unless their demands are met, even in contradiction with the constitution itself. They could have resigned long ago and at least kept their word on that promise without attempts at obstruction.

    Prophett 31,

    I am not seeking a showdown with you. Do you see, however, that your accusations of Suleiman have no basis? Also, if HNA speaks in the next couple days and accuses Suleiman as you did would you stamp with all ten fingures to HNA or would you question him?

    Posted by anonymous | January 13, 2011, 6:19 pm
  33. BV:

    “Playing” or not “Playing”. I don’t know. But I wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow’s wind blows Aoun to this side and Geagea to the other.

    I don’t doubt that how either side is acting is precisely on account of what they perceive to be “best for the community”.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 13, 2011, 6:27 pm
  34. anon,
    I never accused President Suleiman of any thing. Please, show me where I DID?
    I was simply assessing the situation,and where I thought He stood…
    Sorry if my assessment of president Suleiman didn’t please you.
    I won’t stamp to any one; I do question anyone who publicly makes a statement.No one is immune to my criticism.
    You made think now, maybe SHN is reading my posts, and claiming my thoughts,and then throwing his own accusations.lol
    Get real anon.

    Posted by prophett | January 13, 2011, 6:44 pm
  35. this may be completely insane, but is there any way the ‘pre-STL findings’ opposition withdrawal is the deal between Hariri and Hizballah?

    Works for both sides. There’s no government in place to embrace the findings, which suits Hizb. And, Hariri saves face because he isn’t in a position where he’s forced to disavow the findings as PM, because his government has collapsed.

    Then, a couple months after the findings are released a deal is struck, and roughly the same government comes back. The new Hariri government doesn’t pursue the STL indictments as part of the deal for the government, so Hizb wins. But, it’s still a face saver for Hariri…?

    Posted by robinson | January 13, 2011, 7:00 pm
  36. Gabriel says:

    “I don’t doubt that how either side is acting is precisely on account of what they perceive to be “best for the community”.

    Please tell me that you were being sarcastic:-) None of these power hungry selfish individuals knows the term community or what it means. Communal good often rests on personal sacrifice and resiprocity two alien concepts to megalomaniac political feudal lords with a tremendous sense of entitlement. I have been saying this ad nauseum and I will say it again; No meaningful change will take place, in Lebanon, based on development from within the current system. None. Salvation rests in transcending both and acting as if community matters.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 13, 2011, 7:10 pm
  37. Ghassan,#30
    Unfortunately, we will end up with another worked out arrangement named after some city. But this time, it will take longer to get there, and the damage might be greater than anyone can anticipate.

    Posted by prophett | January 13, 2011, 7:13 pm
  38. “I was simply assessing the situation,and where I thought He stood…
    Sorry if my assessment of president Suleiman didn’t please you.”

    OK Prophett, you did not accuse Suleiman. Where did you think he stood?

    Now that I know no one is immune to your critcism, I’m more than pleased.

    Posted by anonymous | January 13, 2011, 7:14 pm
  39. GK:

    Please tell me that you were being sarcastic:-)

    Not at all. I wasn’t talking about the “leadership”. I am talking about the people themselves that form the community. The ones that flock to Aoun, or flock to Geagea.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 13, 2011, 7:21 pm
  40. Prophet #36,

    Yup. As I posted yesterday Cairo, Lausanne, Taif, Doha, “Doha2”, “Doha3”, lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseam.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 13, 2011, 7:25 pm
  41. Anon,
    First, I do think that He is a good human being.
    He really had no stand. He tried to play both sides of the fence. The poor guy had no authority to do anything. I doubt He has any vision for the country either.
    They simply brought him is, as ‘independent, unifier, and peace maker”. He could not be any of those.
    He never accomplished anything, except meeting dignitaries, and ex officials.
    I’m sure you remember when He invited the world’s richest man, Mexico’s Carlos Slim; The guy left without paying his hotel bill. Poor president Suleiman was so embarrassed, The presidential palace had to pay those bills.

    I think we should call him the lost president. Now you should know why I think that He won’t finish his term.

    Posted by prophett | January 13, 2011, 7:41 pm
  42. GK:

    Isn’t there something almost refreshing about the division within the “Xian” community.

    Whatever the motive may be (self-interest/preservation,etc), at least it has air of democracy to it, no?

    No one can ever say: You’re Xian, hence this is where most likely you stand.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 13, 2011, 7:43 pm
  43. BV,40
    I read your post; However,
    I was thinking Istanbul-1, lol

    Posted by prophett | January 13, 2011, 7:44 pm
  44. Ya Nabi..

    One question… why do you capitalize the “h” in “He”.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 13, 2011, 7:45 pm
  45. Gabie,

    You are so right Gabie. Christan community has always had different views,and political stands. It’s a blessing, I think.
    But Patriarch Sfeir isn’t pleased with this though; HE sees it as division among the community.
    One question;Are you not talking to me because I named you Mutanabbi?lol

    Posted by prophett | January 13, 2011, 7:49 pm
  46. MUTANABBI, Sorry, I’m a bad typist,and a worse editor.lol
    STILL WORKING ON MY ENGLISH BRO.LOL

    Posted by prophett | January 13, 2011, 7:51 pm
  47. It’s the viagra side effect.lol

    Posted by prophett | January 13, 2011, 7:52 pm
  48. Walaw. You compared me to one of the greatest Arab poets.

    Still, I think it’s a little unfair that you reserve the title “Nabi” to yourself, and confine me to just being a Wannabe Nabi!

    hahaha

    Posted by Gabriel | January 13, 2011, 7:55 pm
  49. I know this pisses a lot of people off,lol

    Posted by prophett | January 13, 2011, 7:58 pm
  50. On a more serious note, I’m not following up on the news, and I find everyone here so much more versed as to the happenings. QN has become my news source. Especially with all those links to articles contained in one place.

    But I don’t know most of those politicians most of you keep referring to, so I’d rather sit back and read.

    Posted by Gabriel | January 13, 2011, 8:00 pm
  51. Shi’ites should copulate with Shi’ites. Sunnis with Sunnis. Jews with Jews. Maronites with whoever. Druze … as long as you sign a prenup.

    Posted by PeterinDubai | January 13, 2011, 8:02 pm
  52. Mutanabbi,

    QN is a good forum to be part of…
    I follow many other sites for daily news and analysis. Sooner or later, you will know who those leaders are, but I doubt you would want to meet most of them.
    Now you know why I called you a Wannabe Nabi, instead of Nabi .LOL
    COULD NOT RESIST,LOL JK

    Posted by prophett | January 13, 2011, 8:21 pm
  53. The following is a quote that many of you have seen and I have been expecting some to mention it but since no one has here goes:

    “الحرف الواحد قال جنبلاط أمام الجالسين على طاولة العشاء “في نهاية المطاف… سأفعل ما يطلبونه مني”. كان النائب جنبلاط يقصد بكلامه السوريين،

    Translation: Jumblatt’s exact words , during a dinner, were ” In the final analysis …I will do whatever is asked of me” ( by the Syrians.

    In ant country the above statement would have resulted in efforts to recall the politician in question, to denounce him and to demand his/her resignation. But not in Lebanon. No one has made an issue out of this simply because it has become the normal state of affairs. Foreign governments own themost the the Lebanese media, foreign governments own most of the Lebanese politicians and foreign governments have the final say about whapolicy in Lebanon. Until and unless we the ordinary Lebanese citizens show outrage and disgust about such behaviour the charade goes on.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 13, 2011, 8:41 pm
  54. Ghassan,
    Have you been following developments in Tunisia? where do you think this will lead ?

    Posted by prophett | January 13, 2011, 8:49 pm
  55. Cabriel #42,
    I think that is very healthy. But yet the Christians are just as sectarian as anybody else in Lebanon. What we need , and I do not want to sound as if I am lecturing again :-), is to self identify as Lebanese who happen to practice this religion or the other. Once we do that then we will be driven by what is good for the community and not a sub group within it. The last thing that I want to see when I look into the mirror is the image of a Sunni, A Maronite< a Druz… I see a human being whio is a fathger, a professor, a husband, a jogger, an environmentalist…

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 13, 2011, 8:49 pm
  56. Lebanese could stand to learn a thing or two from the Tunisian. Despite 23 years of “no freedom” and tight controls (and much longer if one takes into account the Burquiba years), they have found their voice and have decided to rise up against corruption and autocracy, something we, in Lebanon have never figured out how to do (or rather, have never been willing to do).

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 13, 2011, 9:03 pm
  57. Prophett, As I might have said before I am rooting for the Tunisian opposition not only because I feel that they ought to make major advances but because if they succedd then that might be the spark to blow up the whole powder ofkeg of the Middle east. Tunisia could easily travel to Libya and Egypt and then hopefully the gulf states Syria Jordan and LebanonSo far I have been saying it without deep conviction but wouldn’t it be great if 2011 turns out to be the annus mirabulus of the Arab world. God, wherever she is, knows that we deserve better than what we have.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 13, 2011, 9:06 pm
  58. Thumbs up,Ghassan, I’m as hopeful as you are.
    I think if Tunisia goes ,Algeria could be next.

    Posted by prophett | January 13, 2011, 9:18 pm
  59. Until and unless we the ordinary Lebanese citizens show outrage and disgust about such behaviour the charade goes on.

    GK,

    From your description, it seems to me Palestine is more independent than Lebanon.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 13, 2011, 9:22 pm
  60. Where did you get that Jumblatt quote from GK? It needs to be read in full context before people can start an impeachment process.

    Posted by anonymous | January 13, 2011, 9:33 pm
  61. Still the Syrian role remains an open question. Here’s Haaretz’s take on why HA brought down the government..
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/hezbollah-exit-from-lebanon-government-carefully-planned-1.336691

    Posted by MLK | January 13, 2011, 9:49 pm
  62. MLK,

    These Israeli reporters as in the Haaretz story are becoming full blown pathetic amateurs.

    If you read Assafir of Friday the 14th, you would know why.

    I would dissmiss any story coming out south of the border as pure rubbish.

    Posted by anonymous | January 13, 2011, 10:01 pm
  63. anon,

    do u have a link for assafir article?

    Posted by MLK | January 13, 2011, 10:17 pm
  64. Ghassan,

    “God, wherever she is”

    Better not let anyone in the Middle East hear you say that 🙂

    With all this happening one can only be more resigned and pessimistic, unfortunately La via dolorosa of our beloved Lebanon and the rest of the Arab world is another one hundred years long.

    Posted by V | January 13, 2011, 10:27 pm
  65. anon,
    The Jumblatt quote is from a column by Malak Iqail . It is on Lebanonfiles who do not always give the original publication.;

    http://lebanonfiles.com/khas_desc.php?id=290

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | January 13, 2011, 10:50 pm
  66. MLK,

    I meant Annahar actually (that was a typo, I was reading both stories before making my comment and got confused), but here are the two links that are relevant from both Annahar and Assafir,

    http://www.annahar.com/content.php?priority=1&table=main&type=main&day=Fri

    The important point above is the reference to Syria’s response to so-called French initiative.

    http://www.assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionId=1745&articleId=1324&ChannelId=40925

    Thanks Ghassan for the link. I think that may deserve an impeachment. But seriously, Jumblatt is writing his own death sentence if Syria decides to do as Wahhab (the ex-minister dining with Jumblatt) wishes him to do and force it up Jumblatt’s throat. If QN’s count of 60 MP’s are Hariri bloc, which seems to be a consensus, then we can say at least 4 more from the gathering bloc of Jumblatt are definitely M14 and will disobey their leader.

    Posted by anonymous | January 13, 2011, 11:15 pm
  67. Who brought down the Lebanese Gov’t NewZ

    Still the Syrian role remains an open question. Here’s Haaretz’s take on why HA brought down the government.

    MLK,

    Lally believes the “conniving Israelis” brought down the Lebanese government.

    http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=8082#comment-241363

    Norman thinks it was due to an “American veto” (due to his “connections”).

    http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=8082#comment-241360

    I agree with you:

    “…HA brought down the government.”

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 13, 2011, 11:40 pm
  68. “Isn’t it just time for some sort of political reform”???

    With all the talk about people been disgusted etc etc etc. This paralysis and general garbage cannot go on!

    Akbar please elaborate on what you think will happen next, South of the Border, if HA form a government- How would the Bibi/Liebermann coalition react?. Would it be a game changer?

    Posted by Enlightened | January 14, 2011, 2:19 am
  69. Enlightened,

    AIG’s analysis of Lebanon from an Israeli point of view is the closest thing to Israeli academia. You can tell he has a keen understanding of the personalities, the sects, and the political dynamics.

    I would take his POV over any Tel-Aviv professor; handsdown.

    My vantage point is that of an pro-Israel, American Jew with just a basic understanding.

    My simplistic view is that HA is indicative of the growing Islamization of the ME, and another in a long series of ME states is falling like a domino. Another victory for Iran.

    And who will pay? The usual people: Arabs and muslims. The cheerleaders are mostly those that don’t live under the thumb of these thugs.

    Unfortunately for those that will suffer under these governments, the world powers will not intervene. Certainly not Obama.
    HA will grab more power within Lebanon, but they won’t free the Palestinians.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 14, 2011, 12:36 pm

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