Thursday, February 23, 2006

Lahoud on the way out, but not quite there yet..

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's choice to hold her first meeting with the head of Lebanon's Catholic Maronite Church is indicative of the current U.S priorities towards Lebanon. The Patriarch plays a central role in determining the fate of the presidency and has only recently moved to de-legitimize President Emile Lahoud's mandate. Equally telling is her decision not to meet with the Pro-Syrian Lahoud as she had done on her prior visit.
Now that Patriarch Sfier has clearly stated that current conditions surrounding the presidency must not continue, the debate between pro and anti Syrian parties is likely to shift from whether or not to ouster President Lahoud to trying to find a compromise candidate. Yesterday's visit by the Qatari Foreign Minister to Beirut and Damascus may be an attempt to broker such a compromise. It is not entirely unimaginable that Damascus might try to bargain and compromise over Lahoud's fate rather than wait until next year and see his term expire in return for little.
In any event although it's not quite a done deal yet, Lahoud seems to be on his way out. It is increasingly unlikely that he will remain in office until the end of his mandate, but domestic and regional negotiations regarding a replacement may take weeks or even months.
We will retain the pleasure of having him in the Presidency (sarcasim of course) as the March 14 deadline comes and goes.


Anonymous said...

Who do you see as Lahoud's best replacement? Who do you think is going to be the most probable? This is more of a domestic issue in which Aoun will not agree to anyone but himself, Hizbollah and Amal will probably agree with Aoun. March 14th probably won't agree with Aoun on Aoun. WOW! Get ready for another year and so of Lahoud only to return to the same issues in 2007.

Anonymous said...

Well, please take note to the fact that Rice met with Jumblatt and not Aon. I find this both highly entertaining. This is the first of many "losses" for Der Generale as a result of his meeting with Nasrallah a couple of weeks ago.

Aon must be thinking "but why did she ignore me? I am Micho the great? I am handsome. I can even balance my check book. Why? Why not me?"

Micho, you are a handosme boy, indeed, too bad you aint got the IQ to go along with your pretty face.


Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the notion that Syria will try it's best to get a deal in exhange for giving up on Lahoud. This is specifically why Lahoud had video-taped a "secret" message a few weeks ago, and publicaly said that it was against Israeli agents. We all know that he probably implicated the Syrians in that video tape, and that was his lame pathetic way of providing protection for himself. Unfortunately for him, that video tape will eventually prove to be as protective as a broken condom.

The good (and bad) news for Lahoud is that the syrians are just as impotent as Emilio is these days, so I'm not sure what kind of deal they will be able to broker. Their best bet is to support Hizbullah, which is not exactly winning the hearts and minds of the Lebanese people these days.

Emilio, sorry, you aint in an envyable situation right now. You probably wont be able to stroll around in your skimpy speedos this summer. Shucks!


Doha said...

Probably Lahoud is trying to broker a deal now where he would agree to step down in return for not being put on trial.

Raja said...


you think that this initiative will just fizzle away without removing Lahoud from office? I don't know man... It would take quite a lot to stop the momentum that appears to have been built up by the Jumby, LF, Future and Co.

Then again, Nasrallah said that Lahoud is the first line of defense for the "resistance"!

Lahoud, in my opinion, has two major roles to play:

1. nullify the presidency as a chess piece in the political game that is being played right now.

2. Give Iranian dignitaries a State welcome... i.e. the Syrians and Iranians have that one last foothold on the Lebanese State.

I hope you are wrong about the time it will take to kick that buffoon out! I am still irked by the fact that Syria still has a say on who becomes our president!

Aounis... take heed! You justify your cordial relations with Bashar by saying that the Syrians have left our country. But here they are trying to choose our president for us!

Anonymous said...

Scan modern history and you would not find a leader who has worked so tirelessly against the interest of his country than Lahoud.

Its like the Vichy Government in France remaining in power even after the Nazis left. Rediculous!

Only in Lebanon would you still have parties (Aoun, Hizb, Amal) still protecting such a leader... Its very sad..

acrobat said...

Raja, it would be very interesting if you could start off a serious discussion about what kind of person the next president should be, who are the potential candidates and inevitably, whether aoun would be a good president or not. let's have an objective discussion about this, i really would like to hear once and for all the aounis put out their point why it should be the general, the neutrals put out their point either way, and most unusually, those who do NOT think he would be a good president at this stage, to put out their point, beyond the usual vacant rhetoric "cause he's military".

i also am finding trouble jumping from aoun in dialogue with HA = aoun prosyrian. so let's see some proper discussion on this blog, if there isn't going to be any in beirut proper.

oh, and doha, you don't have to reply to this one either if the subject gets too difficult for you.

Anonymous said...


I appreciate your attempt at sounding neutral. I, too, value neutrality and unbiased opinions.

Here's why Aon would be a terrible president.

1. He is hot headed. He is stubborn and he is condescending. Please refer to his first speech delivered less than one hour after setting foot in beirut.

2. He had no problem bombing west beirut, and killing civilians when he was the head of the military, though ti was obvious that he was fighting a losing battle. When the going got tough, he simply fled, and lived in Paris...not bad.

3. He doesnt know how to negotiate with people. If someone disagrees with him, he goes around and makes friends with anyone willing to give him "supportive" emprt words. So, his allies now are Sulaiman Franjieh, Sayyed Nasrallah, and Michel Murr...need I say more?

4. he has never shown us anything tangible but rhetoric...

5. he has lost support among the christian community (I am one) because of his flip-flopping.

6. He has lost international support -- note that condoleesa rise chose not to meet with him today.

7. Talk is cheap, and that's all he has done over the last 15 years!

8. he continues to provide legitimacy to Emile Lahoud, who voted for him and his orange-men in the elections!


why-discuss said...

Who regrets not to have met the stupid and inept parrot Mrs Rice? I don't! I am not surprised she has been seduced by Waleed Jumblatt..

Anonymous said...

I guess Jumblatt gets the visit from Rice. The loudest boy in class is always getting all the attention. Aoun is sulking.

Cheers said...

Quite an informative article

why-discuss said...

Patrick Seale about Condoleeza Rice: "No one seems to know what views, if any, Condoleezza Rice herself holds regarding the troubled Middle East. Most of the time, she seems to be parroting the views of others"
I was glad to see that the parrot adjective suited her very well.

Anonymous said...

nick samara for pres! pass it on