Lahoud Must Go: Part II and Again
I wrote Lahoud Must Go,Period a year ago. Today, I feel it needs repeating and a part II.
In light of Pierre Gemayel’s assassination and all the other assassinations and in light of the death threats hanging above the cabinet’s head: Emile Lahoud must go. Now. Right now, before the international tribunal, before Seniora’s economic measures.
Screw the economy. There’s no economy if there is no country. Plus the economy will never ever take off in the sick, turbulent, violent, unstable environment we are in for the foreseeable future if there is one.
If Lahoud stays, there will be neither an international tribunal nor an end to the killings. Lahoud will obstruct the tribunal and I believe setting up the tribunal requires his signature that won’t come.
One of the reasons Gemayel was assassinated was to bring the number of cabinet ministers down, now 17 down from 24. If the number goes down further (assassination or resignation by threat) the (ineffective) government falls, creating a constitutional crisis and further mayhem. That is why the government is beefing up security (har har) and asking current ministers to leave their homes and set up quarter in the PM’s headquarters.
Why does killing a minister deplete the cabinet? Because you cannot replace him. Why can’t you replace him? Because it requires Lahoud’s signature and Lahoud and his Syrian masters want the government to fall.
Killing ministers works because Lahoud is obstructing. Cleaning house at security agencies and police is impossible because Lahoud is obstructing. The international tribunal may not happen or will take forever because Lahoud is obstructing.
The country is in a deep existential crisis and Lahoud has a FULL (unconstitutional) year to go. Any other country would have declared martial law or a state of emergency a long time ago. Our politicians and religious instances are still playing games with the office of the presidency and its occupant. Of course Maronite Patriarch Sfeir carries more weight when it comes to the presidency and he is no fan of Lahoud. However, like most decision-makers in Lebanon he is totally lacking in imagination and in boldness.
The time for half-measures is long long gone. I am not saying that Lahoud is the only problem. There are many others including whore Nabih Berri who could also obstruct. And there are certainly things the government should have done, and could do, but won’t. Still, dumping Lahoud is absolutely necessary though not sufficient.
If you can’t catch the killers at least take away one of the reasons they kill. You need to name new cabinet ministers and Lahoud is in the way. Granted not many people will be lining up for a cabinet position, but some fearless souls remain and/or some big egos who will love the title.
The gravity of the situation should be brought to bear in the extreme on all, and on Aoun in particular, even if the last resort is to give him the presidency. The alternative for March 14 and everyone else is the return of Syria with a vengeance. And that dear Joumblatt, Hariri, Geagea etc means your days are counted, or if you are lucky it’s exile.
I’ll let lawyers and constitutional scholars figure out how to get rid of the Lahoud cancer. Here’s my crazy idea, especially since the Maronite Church stands to never recover should Syria re-enter Lebanon. The Maronite Church excommunicates Lahoud. He therefore is not a Maronite anymore. He can’t be president. Let’s have an election.
PS I hope and pray the funeral is peaceful today.