To all of those who are not noticing the change in Lebanon. What is happening?
I've been wanting to write a post since yesterday morning, but I got swamped with work; so here's my piece of mind:
We are starting to see the first glimpses of change in Lebanon, despite the turmoil, the silent unrest, and the wait-and-see attitude everyone is taking.
First, weren't you all shocked to read/hear what our Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh said about his meeting with U.S. State Department official David Welch? It was for the first time a pretty amicable press conference, especially coming from a minister who is backed and blessed by Hizbullah and Amal. He started the press conference by saying, "We did not disagree on any point with the Americans." Then he extolled Lebanon's relationship with the U.S., historically and strategically. I was amazed and couldn't believe what I was hearing. I guess for the first time, we are truely listening to the real Lebanese foreign policy line.
Second, today in the news President Lahoud stated (of course through his favorite mouthpiece, former Minister Wadih Khazen) that he has full confidence in PM Seniora's wisdom to handle the Palestinian security issue. Wow! Again, another exclamation. PM Seniora indeed has proven to all of us his wisdom: he not only has broken the ice with Lahoud and defied all odds and sat on one table with him to hash out pertinent issues away from political polarization and for the sake of Lebanon's interest, but he also has handled the recent Syrian and Palestinian issues in such a surprising way. He has disproved many who said that Seniora and his Cabinet cannot accomplish anything with Lahoud's presence.
It has been always understood that the Sunni Prime Minister in our recent history is an advocate of everything Arab, especially on the issues of the Syrian involvement/tutelage and the Palestinian question, of course to the resentment of the Christians. This time around, he not only has put a limit to and drew a thick red line on the Palestinian militancy/threats on Lebanese soil, but he also has outstandingly spoke for all Lebanese when he snubbed Syrian threats towards him and Lebanon. He said to the press, "I have never heard of the Tichrine newspaper (official Syrian newspaper) and have never read it." And then when asked what his thoughts were regarding Kanaan's suicide, he simply said, "Allah Yirhamoo" (May he rest in peace). And this is why we see, and I have the feeling, that PM Seniora has gotten the buy-in from most Lebanese (of course, but for a number of groups, especially the Hizbullah/Amal faction).
One more striking note was the scene in the Parliament two days ago during the government accountability session. For the first time we see Ministers and the Prime Minister explaining and justifying to Parliament (and the public) their policies and decisions pertaining to the issues that MPs were inquiring about. For the first time, we see a Prime Minister standing in front of everyone explaining in details and figures the consequences and impacts of this or that policy move (such as subsidies, impact on budget, etc.)
MPs might not have been satisfied with the Ministers' responses, but we should at least note that yes there has been a paradigm shift, a holistic change in the way things are done. Even House Speaker Nabih Berri, I felt at least, was jealous of such transparency and dynamism that he tampered with the agreed protocol letting MPs ask questions on the spot, as opposed to submitting their inquiries ahead of time to the cabinet to prepare its response adequately. And he also cut the session short, 1.5 hours.
We cannot deny it; Lebanon is on the right track. Ministers are starting to reflect a true Lebanese policy line and the Parliament is reflecting more of what the poeple want to know and has regained its stance as an equal partner with the Executive branch.
Thanks to FPM and Aoun's parliamentary bloc for pushing forth the government accountability demand and thanks to PM Seniora for accepting this request whole-heartedly and for complying with it. What we need right now is a President who can show us a new face for this new and emerging independent Lebanon.
"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."