Friday, June 29, 2007

Breaking in Two: The Cabinet (Part I of II)

Lebanon’s pro-Syrian Opposition is preparing for a Second Government, one it will use to undercut the international legitimacy of the country’s current government and one which allow Syria to push its agenda and its disruptions for another 6 years.

After turning down a number of majority-backed consensus offers, most recently delivered by Amr Moussa and first consisting of an offer for a 19+10+1 government (turned down the last time Moussa was around) then developing into an offer for a 19+11 government with a ‘no resignations clause’(for a government with a remaining mandate of only 3 months), the Syrians along with their quislings in Lebanon have signalled their intention to push forward with a plan to undermine the legitimacy of the state and its executive branches as embodied by the Presidency and the Premiership.

Through the attack on UNIFIL, combined with this assault on the state, Syria and its allies will be hoping to undermine the existence of a central state authority with which any international troops in Lebanon, along with their governments, must ultimately deal. Without a central authority there can be no centralization of International, Arab, and Lebanese efforts to extract the country from the political and security mire created by the Syrian regime.

And with Hizballah's faux-investigation of this week's attack against UNIFIL in full swing, the ground work for the forceful detachment of the government from its international obligations and legitimacy has begun. Witness the ongoing meetings between Spanish officers and Hizballah officials, along with that country’s call to Iran’s Foreign Minister for “help in uncovering the identity of the assailants” of the attack– again in an area of the country where “where booby-trapped cars are parked only with its [Hizballa’s] consent”. And there’s more:
France and Italy, who have large contingents in UNIFIL, are worried. If there is no domestic reconciliation, they fear, their forces in the South will be caught between the Siniora government and a rival government in which Hizbullah would be represented. For logistical reasons, UNIFIL would have to deal with both, creating an impossible situation when it comes to recognizing the legality of only one.
Of course all this comes at the cusp of a new UN initiative to place ‘International Experts’ on our borders with Syria. It is a move the government has already begun laying the groundwork for by first obtaining Arab League recognition of the problem on our borders with Syria, a point forcefully highlighted by the UN report* which issued the international experts recommendation, and an endorsement of the recommended solution.

A solution that would be bad news for Syria - which had previously declared that it would view such a move as a declaration of war (a little redundant since they have been assassination Lebanese politicians and attacking-by-proxy the Lebanese Army for the past 3 weeks, months, years, decades). And a solution Syria has already moved to dissuade some Lebanese and the international community from pursuing through the attack on UNIFIL, the attacks on the Army in the North, the border closures it has enacted, and the upcoming escalation (i.e. coup attempt) on the cabinet in the form of a second government crisis.

And although such a crisis would to some extent be an end in itself for a regime banking on chaos in Lebanon to generate buyers for its version of peace, it is a crisis with a very limited time-frame dictated by the stresses it will place on the other structures of the state - such as the country’s Central Bank which houses the state’s funds, and the Army which is constitutionally stipulated to report back to the legitimate cabinet – along with the looming presidential elections, parliamentary deliberations for which are due to start this September.

And that is where Syria and its allies in Lebanon will hope to see a significant payoff from this campaign. By creating a two-government constitutional crisis on the heels of the Lebanese Army’s victory in Nahr el Bared (a victory they were unable to snuff out) the Syrians will hope to use the crisis’ resultant disruptions, along with the national admiration imbued in everything Army, to push their candidate for the Lebanese Presidency, one delivered from proven stock (follow the link and check the rumour).
*The UN report also recommended Lebanese inter-agency cooperation at securing the border - a jab at the Hizballah-controlled General Security agency which is in charge of border security and which failed to report a single border violation even while other less-Hizballah-dominated security agencies were continuously intercepting trucks laden with rockets, machine guns, and terrorists.


  1. Anonymous6:29 AM

    wah wah wah....cry me a river....Marada + Aoun + HZ will defeat you!!!

  2. ...He said the scenario of a parallel government was "quite probable,"...

  3. I wonder what a second government can do when it'll only be recognised by syria & iran, they will be a laughing stock.

    I seriously doubt Aoun will be dragged into this,and they can't really do this without him. Aoun's been there done that, got seriously humiliated, and learned a lesson in international politics the hard way. Even HE's not stupid enough to repeat that mistake twice.

  4. Anonymous5:15 PM

    Again and again and again and again....

    It comes down to this.

    In the "Arab World," the concept of the Nation State just does not seem to have taken root, at least not as deeply as other loyalties, such as tribe and sect.

    Lebanon the country seems like kind of a neat idea to even the majority of Lebanese, but only that - kind of a neat idea.

  5. La Libanessa:

    Thats the thing, it really doesn't have to do anything but be a seriously disruptive crisis.

    I mean as far as I heard, the majority offered a 19+11 cabinet, what the opp. wanted, with a clause that they not resign and bring down the gov't - causing another crisis. Mind you this would only be over 3 months or so since the election of a new president means cabinet is dissolved and a new one is formed anyway. But that was turned down, the reason: how can they create a crisis through which to press their demands or force submission if everything is fine in the country, they can't.

    Anyway, I think they're estimating that the 2-3 week crisis will be enough time to force submission. Others on the gov't side, like Jumblatt apparently, are thinking that the gov't can weather those 2-3 weeks and come out victorious.

    Whatever the outcome, the regular people will, of course, be the losers.

  6. The UN is just going to have to put their money where their mouth is. They say that they 'support' the Government ... they will have to totally ignore and not recognize any 2nd government. This only becomes a 'problem' if the International Community allows it to become a problem. Let them decide they are the Queen of England if they like, it does not make it true or valid. I agree that this is the plan and removing UNIFIL and protecting Hezbo's weapons are a major concern, but the 'opposition' has no legal or Constitutional validity and should just be ignored by all.

  7. Anonymous12:02 AM

    Lalebanessa dear, sorry to do this to you.
    Just south of leb. the Pal. are having two govrnment. The one supported by Syria and Iran is doing fine. If and when such calamity will befall leb. add to these 2 Venezuella, Cuba, USSR, N Korea? at least partially and soon others, it will not be funny. I would also suggest that you listn to some funny noises from Dubai and other Arab countries. No dear, such a Hizb. government will not be a laughing matter at all.

  8. Arabic Coffee Pot12:17 AM


    Hey Anony-genius, there is no more USSR! And Cuba and North Korea? Haha!!!


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