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25 January 2011

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steve

I know nothing about Mikati other than what is in the article--which seems fairly positive on the man--but I suspect that whatever meddling the US and Israel have up their sleeves will come to no good end.

JLCampos

Turmoil in the Levant.
I read last month de Maistre and was struck by his assertion that justice is eventually obtained but it may not be immediate but very much delayed and its form may be completely original and therefore unexpected. I am coming to believe that he was right.

Simon

I don't know what to think. This is quite a twist that I bet the U.S. and Israel didn't see coming. On one hand, I can't see this new Lebanese government lasting long, on the other hand the U.S. likes wealthy capitalist politicians so maybe Mikati will be able to reach an accommodation with the Obama Administration.

The beaver

Now, if only the other spies being protected by AIPAC and their friends can get the same judicial treatment:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12272941

Matthew

Would anyone like to second this motion?

"Resolved: Whenever a legislative minority abandons its coalition partners in government, thereby triggering collapse of said government, we shall not refer to it as a 'coup'."

Fred

Shocking, 'our' side didn't get its way. Reminds me of the 2000 re-count:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A31074-2005Jan23.html

Patrick Lang

Matthew

I so second. pl

markfromireland

@ Matthew | 25 January 2011 at 11:06 AM

Aye.

PeterHug

Matthew, I agree!

I would also submit that when a country has a legal and constitutional change of government that results in an outcome we don't like - that's not a coup either.

Sisyphus

Well, the current caretaker government has shown that it is inept at managing its own protesters. Once again, Nasrallah's speech, regarding the protests, outshone Hariri's speech. It seems that the Hizb know how to combine subtlety with strength. They need a representative government that can build a coherent and convincing argument for the upcoming withdrawal of Lebanese cooperation with the STL. They have most of the Christians on side for this one. Hariri is going to play the spoiler and he won't do it anywhere as well as the previous opposition. He'll be sidelined. Nasrallah and Aoun mentioned the neo-liberal economic policies and corruption that Hariri promotes and the resultant poverty that he has inflicted on many of his own supporters' regions. They may well be able to ride the current wave of dissatisfaction running through the Arab street...

b

Hizbullah has 12 members in the parliament, out of some 130. To somehow say that this was Hizbullah's deed is a bit comical.

A billionaire Sunni prime minister who is friends with the Syrians and Saudis and was backed by Hizbullah parliament and cabinet members has been replaced by a billionaire Sunni prime minister who is friends with the Syrians and Saudis and is backed by Hizbullah parliament and cabinet members.

mini-Hariri was incompetent, Mikati I don't know. mini-Hariri boosted that he made Mikati prime minister in 2005. Now Nasrallah does the same.

Some Sunnis and Salafist are rioting in the streets.

Did anything really change in Lebanon?


Pat, btw - the Daily Star is now owned by mini-Hariri. It can no longer be considered to be a decent source on the issue.

steve

PeterHug:

As Hillary said today,

"We believe in Lebanon's sovereignty and an end to outside interference."

Chuckles all around.

John

Good luck on the mortgage closing...i guess you know you are entering hostile enemy territory where nothing is as it seems. ;-)

Grimgrin

I'm no expert, so I'll just throw this out as a question.

If Israel or the US attacks Lebanon in response to the March 8th coalition forming a government, what are the consequences for the March 14th coalition? Will they be seen as reacting to a political loss by inviting a foreign invasion? What does this do to their support?

walrus

Over at Small wars journal there is a trashy article entitled "The Hizbollah - North Korean Connection" which is pure hearsay with the obvious intent of further demonising Hizbollah.

I suspect that the bombs must start falling in Lebanon before the tourist season gets under way. That ensures that there will be few Westerners to witness the carnage, as well as maximise the financial damage to Lebanon.

WILL

on a collateral subject
"In the last week of December, Iran began its blockade by stalling some 2,500 trucks on the border. Since roughly one-third of Afghanistan’s gasoline and diesel consumption comes from Iran, the blockade has sent prices soaring by up to 70 percent.

US and NATO forces in Afghanistan which have been relying on the Iranian fuel shipped to Afghanistan have been forced to look for other sources of supply."
http://jasonjeffrey.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/iran-blocks-fuel-for-afghanistan-as-tit-for-tat-for-stuxnet/

Doug Tunnell

B
The Daily Star is no longer owned by the Mrowe family ? Not sure a change in legal ownership equates with a change in editorial policy.

mac

Not a good week for the status quo in the MidEast.

Beirut, Tunis, Cairo....

This is getting very interesting.

William R. Cumming

Well first Tunisia is a surprise to US, then Lebanon, and now maybe Egypt?

YUP! Our foreign policy shaping up nicely for this decades problems!

WILL

Now, I understand the issue better after reading the following blogs:

http://humanprovince.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/consensual-sectarian-rage/

http://qifanabki.com/2011/01/25/lebanon-hezbollah-hariri/

As Elias, aka Qifa Nabki, explains:

"(Preamble, j), which states that “there shall be no constitutional legitimacy for any authority which contradicts the pact of communal existence.”

The Shiites complained awhile ago when March 14 then in majority proposed replacing Nabih Berri as Speaker w/ a Shiite of their own bloc. Their gripe was that Berri was the consensual choice of the Shiites.

Presently, Saad H. is the consensual choice of the Sunna for P. Minister, but what sense would it make & what change of government would it represent for the now March 8 majority to have put him right back in office?

Maybe this is the first crack in the Confessional system of government. If so, then good riddance!

mo

Grimgrin,
Apologies for not replying earlier to your question.
The question will depend entirely on their reaction but as they are not in power it will probably be a muted response of trying to blame an attack on HA a la 06.

Their reaction will unlikely lose them support. If there is any loss of support, it will be more likely dependent on how well HA do rebuffing an attack.

Will,
No, no crack yet but part of HA's manifesto is to end the confessional system (more likely than not because a one man one vote system automatically translates to at least 55%-60% of the vote going to them and their allies).

However, one thing QN (being partial to M14) fails to mention is that M14 refused to allow Aoun to be President when he garnered nearly 70% of the Christian vote in the election before last. So they are as guilty of this in the past.


One thing to note, is that the M8 group has been repeating an ambiguous statement over and over which was that the situation before the indictments been passed to the judge was different to after.

What that is starting to seem to mean is that HA no longer care about hampering the STL. It seems that they will be concentrating on the proving who was behind the famous "false witnesses" (an issue Hariri refused to open and dropping the issue was said to be one of the conditions of the agreement Saudi and Syria were working on). If M14 are proved to be behind them or associated with them, the repercussions will not be pretty for them.

Clifford Kiracofe

Of course Hillary and company have not yet explained just why the US supported the Syrian occupation of Lebanon (remember that?), or just why the US gave a green light to the Israelis to invade in 1982 (remember that?), or...

Mr. Mikati went to American University Beirut and took courses at Harvard and has ALREADY been a caretaker prime minister once. We need to ask ourselves just why is this man attacked by the US and little Hariri built up? Why? Just why? What is REALLY going on with US policy?

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