Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Invitations A La Lebanon

I've been following the news in Lebanon, but nothing appetizing to write about. I felt that following closely the World Cup football matches was not only a highlight of this summer for me here, but also for many back in our country--a pleasant break from a lot of nonesense and a chance to sit in front of the TV screen, at home or in a cafe, united with fellow Lebanese for a different purpose than politics.

I must say that I couldn't get myself to even read the latest Brammertz report. I saw its weblink glaring at me through the computer monitor, yet I didn't click it. I just read that the Syrian regime applauded the report's objectivity, and that on its own led me to believe that there is not interesting to follow up on.

And for the past few days, I've been following a truely nonesensical, only-in-Lebanon type of headline news: the whole fiasco around what representative of state Romania should have invited for the Francophonie Summit.

Today, Annahar dedicated some three or four articles just dealing with the Francophonie invitation. Politicians are scrambling to take a position: to condemn Romania for inviting only PM Seniora, as opposed to President Lahoud. Even the Romanian Foreign Minister appeared in the Grand Serail to discuss with PM Seniora this issue and claim that final preparations to the invitation list has not been finalized. Naharnet attempted to summarize the fiasco in the following headline, Romania's Snub to Lahoud Raises Concerns Among Christians.

I might not be capturing all the information I need to talk about this issue, but I said to myself that there is no way I'm clicking on the headlines to read further; I do not need to read further to know what the problem is all about.

What a waste! There are more important things I can do this morning. Better: there are more important things that our politicians can be doing.

But heck, this is Lebanon for you; invitations to any event is an important component of our daily lives. I'm sure you've overheard or even engaged in a conversation in your lifetime that included criticism of a certain invitation: why werent' we invited? Aren't we noteworthy? They sent the invitation late, therefore I won't go. How come I was invited via phone and without sending me a card?....and the complaints a la Lebanon never end....

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


JoseyWales said...

Christian politicians have voiced their concern that Romania's snub to President Emile Lahoud could undermine the country's top executive post that is reserved to a Maronite Christian and upset the delicate sectarian-based system that also allots the position of prime minister to a Sunni Muslim.

This is hysterical. Its the old " he may be a piece of shit, but he's OUR piece of shit".

Keep him, and stay mired in your world of shit. (Applies to other leaders and communities. Sorry for the bad language) .

Anonymous said...

So now Romania has also taken sides in the Lebanese circus? What a joke.. Yeah right, it was not France, or the US that told this bit of a country what to do. All of a sudden Romania thinks itself so important that it can also tell the Lebanese what to do.

You are so mired in your own small-world politics, that you never miss an opportunity to miss the point. This has nothing to do with Lebanon’s sectarian make-up, neither with the present crisis. This is about other nations allowing the Lebanese enough respect to decide their own issues. So now you want Romania to tell you what to do? Who next, the Ivory Coast or Mauritius, ? Imagine if a foreign country, if they could, dis-invited Bush after the 2000 elections because of its displeasure with the way the courts settled the presidency. All self-respecting Americans, from both parties would be in an uproar. This is about your country’s independence and sovereignty. Sineora, if he had any self-respect, or any respect for the dignity of his country, should resign immediately for even allowing himself to entertain an invitation that meddles in his country’s affaires. Ah the mockery, the shamelessness. How low will they stoop?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 10:03

"Sineora, if he had any self-respect, or any respect for the dignity of his country, should resign immediately for even allowing himself to entertain an invitation that meddles in his country’s affaires."

If Lahoud,the Syrian appointed president, has any self-respect or cares for a country called Lebanon he should have resigned a year ago.

JoseyWales said...

Anon 10:03.

a-What you are talking about is for countries with laws and self-respect.

b-Why not Romania or Mauritius? Why not? Better Romania than Ahmed Jibril. Now we are offended? Everybody else tells our idiots what to do.

c- If the country had a shred of self respect, Lahoud would be gone. If Lahoud had a shred of self-respect he would not have resigned, he would have committed seppuku.

-Who's mired in small time politics? I am not the one offended by crap related to a 2-bit conference.

Ramzi S said...

Is it really worth it to Aoun to keep supporting this president? By the time Aoun becomes president (if he ever does) the position would have little or no power left.

Is there no attempt at compromise by both sides?? to get someone agreeable to Aoun, who can take Lahoud's place until the end of Lahoud's term? Or is Aoun insisting it is him or Lahoud only?

JoseyWales said...

ramzi s,

This whole thing is getting blown out of proportion. It's one big stupid cocktail party and Lahoud and the PRESIDENCY ain't worth it. I think the country has gone nuts.

Some minister said today Lebanon will be buried in garbage in 6 months, because the gvmnt can't agree on what to do with garbage.

Maybe that's why they don't know what to do with Lahoud.

And Aoun is still burning capital by taking positions on unpopular and useless things.

acrobat said...

sometimes i wonder about the maturity of the posts on this blog... i can understand the bitterness and the disillusionment, but why is it so hard to understand that you cannot run a country without the basic legal framework (constitution and protocol) that goes beyond individuals.

there is something called international protocol that governs how different nations interact. the francophonie is a "summit", i.e. it brings together "heads of state".
in lebanon, the head of state is the president, not the prime minister.

if the saniora accepts the invitation, he is effectively doing yet another anti-constitutional act.

it sets a precedent that understandably makes the christians very nervous.

every single act by aoun has been directed at protecting the constitution. of course it all fits with the aim of protecting the presidency (not the president) because he wants it, but that is irrelevant.

every single act by saniora's government has been anti-constitutional.

i think it is as simple as chosing between legality and illegality to run this country.

how ridiculous is it to see the march 14 sheep "protecting" chirac (he who has 17% support in his own country!) like they used to "protect" bashar whenever anyone criticised him!

JoseyWales said...


You are right in theory and in principle.

HOWEVER, in current day Lebanon: there are 10,000 other laws/rules I want to see applied before this one.

Call me cynical, call me inconsistent. Come on, can't we just make one more exception that goes "my" way for once? Please, pretty please.

Law? precedent? Bwaaaahahhaahahah.

Anonymous said...

you may be cynical and inconsistant but at least you know it fa betmoun.
Ra7 nmare'lak yeha hal marra kamen bass please ellou la chirak ma ba'a y3ida ..

Anonymous said...


"every single act by saniora's government has been anti-constitutional."

What's anti-constitutional is the extended presidency of Lahoud and Aoun's actions in protecting him. Lahoud should have resigned February 14, 2005.


JoseyWales said...


Mamnounak ana. ;)

Fares said...

Fellow readers, my 2 cents on relations of Syrian regime with Lebanon, and how is it related to the arrests!

When is the right time? Time to expose Syrian Regime lies!!!

Please make sure to comment on it, I promise I won't report you to anyone haha

For a better Syria

acrobat said...


i am not anon 3:15 PM. and if the whole place is messed up and we need to start somewhere, it is the constitution we start with.


blind, reactionary harirism has nothing to do with the point of my post. of course lahoud should have resigned a long time ago, and to begin with should never have been extended.

but, for your info, lahoud's continued presence is technically constitutional - since the members of parlament had actually voted a change in the constitution to allow him to extend. whether they did it under pressure or not is irrelevant (most of them wouldn't have been there in the first place if it were not for syria, so don't even try to go there.)

you had the chance to get rid of lahoud and refused it because it meant aoun for president.

JoseyWales said...

Sorry for the confusion Acrobat.

Still, you are talking about protocol/diplomatic rules, which come below "regular" law, which comes below constitution, in the hierarchy of any legal system.

Yes, let's apply the constitution, then the laws then the rules.

Anonymous said...


"you had the chance to get rid of lahoud and refused it because it meant aoun for president."

Blind Aounism. Aoun doesn't have what it takes to make a president, much less a good one. Why replace Lahoud with his split image? Did Lebanon run out of better qualified candidates for presidency?


acrobat said...


"aoun doesn't have what it takes to make a president" -> you will need to explain that, unless what it takes is being so far up hariri or france or us or whoever's ass...

"lahoud's split image" -> just cause he's an ex-military? nonsensical demagogy.

i was extremely skeptical about aoun as a person, but if one follows what the FPM has been doing, you'd see they're a looong way ahead of anyone else in terms of respect of institutions and of actually working to build something that will make crucial changes to lebanese society and affairs.

take off the blinders or get your head out of there.

Anonymous said...


I find Aoun to be a partisan and Lebanon needs a unifier. He is angry and frustrated because he couldn't get a bigger piece of the pie. In elections he allied with Frangieh, Arslan and Karame (die hard Syrian puppets). He boasted about his resolution 1559 involvement and later made an agreement with HA. That tells me he would do anything to get to power.

If he really wanted to make changes in the country he would have been inside the government working and not making noises from the outside to get people's attention and sympathy (squeaky wheel gets the grease). Talk is cheap but it is actions that count.