Nabih Berri Does Not Exist
Walid Joumblatt: I think Nabih Berri doesn’t exist.
Ouuuch!!! That’s got to be the mother of all political zingers.
That is what Walid Joumblatt/Jumblatt told L’Orient Le Jour in a lengthy interview (August 23, 2007, French, link good one day, parts in English here).
Joumblatt went on to say: Berri is a mailbox serving Hezbollah and the Syrian regime. Good God! I despise Nabih Berri but even I feel sorry for the guy (OK, not really).
In the lengthy interview Joumblatt shows everyone how the game is played. Joumblatt runs circles around PM Seniora/Saniora, Sfeir and most of the others lamoes who have given away the game before it even began.
Among other things Joumblatt very strongly says that a president SHALL be elected before November 24; 2/3 quorum or not, and whether Berri opens the parliament building or not. All legal in Joumblatt’s opinion (and I agree).
You cannot enter, let alone win, a battle against determined and ruthless opponents by giving in to their every whim, and playing dead. You have to keep them on their toes which Joumblatt does, among other things by saying "Syrian and Iranian lackeys" every time he mentions Hezbo and by keeping his options open.
On the election, Joumblatt is very clear: none of that Sfeir constitution-lite baloney: 2/3 MPs present is great but not required by law. Furthermore, EVEN if you think there’s a question mark about that subject, you still keep the question mark alive until the very last moment (look at Lahoud playing his lousy 2 governments card).
You don’t say to your opponents: well, if you boycott the elections we will be stuck so "please give us a 'consensus' prez". You would be handing them a free card and defeating yourself.
Anyway, here’s Berri’s response to Joumblatt’s words:
"The parliament speaker has the honor to be a mail box for the resistance that he was the first to establish,"
When people like Berri start talking about honor you know that crap is coming.
OK pompous Mr. Speaker, you say that you are a Hezbollah mailbox. So why the hell do you belong to, and head, a different party?