Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Liaison: Spinning A Virtual Table

The Liaison--he is. As if MP Saad Hariri heeded our calls here on this blogosphere when we wished he would take an independent stand from Jumblatt's moody decision-making process.

While Jumblatt and Aoun did not shake hands yesterday on the first day the newly-elected Parliament convened, Hariri not only shook hands with Aoun, but ended up in Rabieh that evening putting the Future Movement's "Open Hand" policy into action. He was in Mukhtara for the first time yesterday night over dinner with Jumblatt. A few days back, he visited Samir Geagea in his jail, again putting into action the Future Movement's "National Reconciliation" policy.

As for the Hizbullah/Amal cluster, Saad did not alienate. As always, MP Bahia Hariri used to be the strategic liaison between the late Hariri and Berri, taking a seat for herself in Berri's electoral list in the South. She was exactly that liaison, sitting between Berri and Saad yesterday in Parliament. And while his movement nominated Berri, it was apparent the agreement that his movement would nominate and his allies would cast a white ballot--a move that upholds their "National Unity" policy.

It is clear what Hariri's role is in all of this: he is the Liaison, between factions, groups, and politicians that might not meet on one table; but he has somehow spun a virtual table wherein everyone sits to decide the future course of our country. It is almost as if Aoun, Jumblatt, Geagea, and Berri sat on one table...but not.

On another point: the wind is moving Southward, back to Saida, after lingering in Tripoli for a while. Sanyoura is in. I hope Saad's Virtual Table comes into fruition.

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."


ThinkingMan said...

Indeed Doha, it's a very good observation. Saad has wanted to be a "uniter", and he is doing a very good job at it. This will allow Seniora to govern more effectively, since Saad is clearing some hurdles for him.
But I see further in this issue. Basically, I think Saad and Aoun are emerging as the two best leaders for Lebanon, both with a vision, charisma and a real following that crosses sectors and religions.
So, I wouldn't be surprised if, in the not-too-distant future, we see Aoun as president and Saad as Prime Minister, and I'll be willing to gamble that they will be the best governing duo in Lebanon's recent history. Let's not drewl too much over it, but they seem to "complete each other" with some overlap in good things (vision, plan).
Now, the other part of the equation is to find a great Speaker of the Parliament that can also be a uniter for all Lebanese. I give Berri 2 years, not 4 in his position (I'll tell you why later in a future post on my blog).

ThinkingMan said...

One more thing. Jumblatt seems to have been slightly marginalized, in light of the Aoun-Hariri rapprochment.
I think that Jumblatt's enigmatic style seems to be "passe". Same with Berri, who although has been elected, speaks in "code" as Mustapha observed for most Lebanese politicians.
Aoun and Saad break the mold by speaking more openly and candidly about things, and that's refreshing for all of us.

Doha said...

It seems that Aoun's communication advisors have told him to tone down his fiery rhetoric; it's amazing how now he sounds much better than before. Don't you agree?

As for Jumblatt, I understand his situation and I've said it before: he can never become a national leader because he's Druze. Aoun can dream to be a President, Saad a PM, Berri a Speaker of Parliament. But what for a Druze politician? He is a leader and his leadership cannot be slighted. Again I say it, if our political system was open for Jumblatt to aspire for one of those three seats, he will change and we would see less moodiness and more of his intelligent thinking put to action...but alas. I guess that's why he is calling for the removal of sectarianism in our open up the doors for any Lebanese to aspire for any position they dream they can acquire.

Anton Efendi said...

That's why I said, 7illoulo 3i2idto (solve his complex) and create a senate to be headed by a druze, or some such arrangement (perhaps in rotation with other "minorities" like Greek Catholics or something).

Anton Efendi said...

Are you kidding? Do you actually believe he is sincere about deconfessionalization!? He would be finished in such an arragement! If now, Aoun almost trampled him in Baabda-Aley. He would melt completely. No way. This is just talk for Hizbullah's ears. 3am bisammi3 darso (he's reciting his lesson). The other thing is that people assume that only the Christians are against it (which is not completely true, witness Aounists). But in reality, do Sunnis want it? Are they willing to give up seats? But the other thing is, which I raised in my last post, is if HA is disarmed, and their network is disrupted through state services and private development and investment, and the electoral law isn't exactly what they want, and other alternatives on the Shiite scene are allowed to rise, then I doubt whether THEY themselves would call for deconfessionalization!!!

Cheers said...

I wonder why nobody commented on Aoun's "95% agreement" on the Future program. Gosh, in 2 hours he found that out? And clarifying that the problems was about "size estimation" i.e. seats...woooah?
What about all this mess he has created ?
What about the 2000 election law ?
Yesteday Berri clarified it one more time his conversation with Nayla Mouawad. So, what Fares Boueiz did was quite mean, going to the patriarch and creating all this mess, and where was Aoun from all of this? And Berri was quite mean by not clarifying that earlier.

What about Aoun's false allegation about Nassib Lahoud ?
And his alliance with Hezbollah in Jbeil?
This is too crooked for someone claiming to be a man of principles "Mabda2i".

I can't believe that the mass is so blind and deaf...


Cheers said...

.... and someone here is promoting him as president.

For God's sake, I'm gonna puke...


Doha said...


That's why I said that I believe the entourage around Aoun most probably have asked him to tone down his rhetoric, because he totally changed. There wasn't one day he wouldn't be on LBC bashing this person or that and this all has changed. I was surprised that last week he had an opinion piece published for him in Al-Mustqbal newspaper in which he talked about the need to include youth in the political system and decision-making process and the dire need for reform so all citizens could have equal access to services and goods. I think that the FPMers know that their movement is not only about Aoun, it's about what they've fought for and what they stand for.

Anonymous said...

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Hassan said...

Tony, I think the disruption of all parties' social service networks is integral in building a unified national state. We should keep in mind that the form of social service varies from one side to another. For Jumblatt, Berry, and sometimes Hariri, the most obvious form was allowing supporters to "cash in" on corruption, as seen in different ministries, especially the electricity and public works.

As for "allowing" other shiite sides to rise, I find the idea rather irrelevant, not because, as Patriarch Sfeir puts it: "each sect has its chief now", rather because we look forward to a time when the citizens of this country can associate with it directly, without the proxy of a sectarian chief.