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Vetoing the Veto

What can be read into Saad al-Hariri’s decision to not join a national unity government in the event that Hizbullah and its allies come to power in the June elections? Speaking to AFP on Tuesday, Hariri reiterated his earlier stance on the matter, saying: “It is my democratic right not to take part in such … Continue reading

The Lebanese Presidency, Twenty-Five Years after Ta’if

Lebanon failed to elect a president this week, but the failure was rather dignified by recent standards. Unlike the 2008 election — preceded by twenty months of government paralysis, public demonstrations, a parliament building locked by its Speaker, and several high-profile assassinations —  it was a relief to watch 124 parliamentarians show up at the Chamber of Deputies last Wednesday and cast their votes. Most … Continue reading

The Noe Doctrine

My friend Nicholas Noe is on a mission. For several years, he has been arguing that Washington’s hard-line, take-no-prisoners approach to dealing with Syria and Hizbullah is completely misguided. The continuous diet of pressure and isolation tactics from the West, Noe believes, has only served to improve the fortunes of the Resistance Axis, not weaken … Continue reading

Mikati’s Cabinet and the 2013 Elections

I’ve written a brief essay for Foreign Policy about the challenges facing the Mikati government, which you can read here. There are a couple of other observations I’d like to make that are too Lebanon-wonky for FP’s audience but may be of interest to regular readers of QN: Veto politics: Najib Mikati has made a … Continue reading

Talking about a Revolution: An Interview with Camille Otrakji

And now for something completely different. If you’ve been following events in Syria, you’d know that the English-language press is mostly deeply critical of the Assad regime (while the Arabic press displays a slightly wider range of views). I thought it would be worth trying to present a minority report on the situation from a … Continue reading

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