Impressions, views, and steam-blowing by a lonesome cowboy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sfeir's List: Dead on Arrival

Lebanon needs a new president by November 24, 10 days from now. The country is torn apart by an unprecedented constitutional crisis. The constitution stipulates that, without a president-elect with 10 days to go, parliament meets immediately and elects.

Who cares? We are 8 days from the last of Incompetent-Traitor-in-Chief Emile Lahoud and Speaker Berri has called for a Nov 21 election. And no one is even protesting the dangerous closeness of that date to a potential power vacuum.

After months of abusing/misinterpreting the constitution, of exhausting the Lebanese people with empty moves and rhetoric, the end is finally near. The solution? Peggy Sue Sfeir, prodded by class hunk Kouchner, is going to pass a note to Mary Lou Berri and to Mimsy Hariri during gym.

The note will have the names of all the cool dudes for president. Kouchner wanted only one name in order to bring the game to an end. But Peggy Sue Sfeir, that tease, wants 5 or 6 or even 9.

The idea is that then Mary Lou and Mimsy will pick the hunkiest 2 on the list and that the high school will elect one of them on November 21.

I don’t understand the point of the whole exercise. I mean Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir has said all along: just elect someone, anyone. Now they all want Sfeir’s imprimatur on the choice. Kouchner told Sfeir that Berri would not call parliament if Sfeir did not produce names. So Sfeir, who according to reports does not want to pick the one guy, will give several names. Duh!

We all know that Aoun and Harb and Nassib Lahoud will be on the list, plus another few a la Demianos Qattar, Joseph Torbey etc…

It’s obvious that when Hariri and Berri get the list Harb, Nassib Lahoud and Aoun will be thrown out even before the coffee guy shows up. The other names are all acceptable to Sfeir. So what’s the point? That everyone can breathe that, whomever the president is, Sfeir approves, as do Berri and Hariri. They tortured the country for over 6 months for this?

OK, the Sfeir approval means some Christian cover. Hariri provides Sunni cover, but does Berri provide anything? Syrian cover? If he had Syrian cover we would not be here and he surely cannot provide Shia/Shiite cover without Hezbollah. I am not sure what is being solved by this charade.

Reading quickly in An-Nahar, I saw a glimmer of good news. The headline said Sfeir would insist on secrecy. Silly me, I thought he was referring to the secrecy of the ballot (another constitutional rule always trashed). That would have provided some pressure to uphold a very useful part of the law. But NOOOOO, I was quickly disappointed. Peggy Sue Sfeir wants the LIST of effing candidates to remain secret. Why? Another mystery. Hell, give or take a name, all of Lebanon already knows that stupid list.

With 8 days to Armageddon these people are still worried about the silliest of stuff. They are all hopeless. Go ahead your Eminence, keep the list secret, and the election date secret, and the name of the new president secret.

Finally, as I ready to post and less than 24 hours after the lousy new non-idea was floated, it would appear that it’s already dead.


  • At 11/15/07, 7:59 AM, Anonymous The Other Tony said…

    this is ridiculous. we have all known all along that this is going to end up in confrontation. what a waste of time and energy the past 12 months have been.

  • At 11/15/07, 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It must be a cold hard lesson and/or a rude awakening to the French FM that during discussions with the speaker of parliament he is told point blank that "I AINT CALLING NO FREAKING SESSION "UNLESS" I GET A NAME(S) FROM THAT CREAKY OLD THING IN THE MOUNTAIN".

    He must have walked away from that meeting feeling that maybe JUST MAYBE they don't really have a clue about what the're doing.


    Ayesh Lubnan

  • At 11/15/07, 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The absurd is getting more absurd. Since when the Maronites chose the president? The president is for all Lebanese, and let the majority of parliament chose him.
    In the last rounds, we have seen the Sunnis chose the PM, and Shia the Speaker, so it's more secular than before, instead of being more democratic and homogeneous.

    Putting the onus on Sfeir to pick a list is like trapping him. If the guy is a dud, they'll blame him and say "you picked him". And it's validating that we're a bunch of mediaval thinkers.

  • At 11/15/07, 11:04 AM, Anonymous Ace said…

    This isn't that hard to figure out. Berri's boss thinks Sfeir will name the "consensus candidate" (translation - Nasrallah's choice) to avoid a Civil War. He didn't do that - therefor, the list is "dead". Sfeir tried to put conditions on the "list" forcing all of them to go to Parliament and let Parliament do it's job. Aoun has thrown another major hissy fit because
    Sfeir didn't name him as the only candidate. Lahoud is working out Nas's next step because Sfeir did not name the Nas choice as the only candidate.

    It's a zoo, and the animals are all about the be turned lose.

  • At 11/15/07, 1:56 PM, Blogger Bad Vilbel said…

    Several points:

    1. That "secrecy" thing cracks me up. Lebanon is the only country in the world where people do not announce their candidacy, but rather keep it secret. Here's an idea: Let's also keep whoever gets elected a secret. We can refer to him/her from now on as "the shadow". President Shadow, etc... They can have his face blanked out during speeches at the UN, you know, kinda like those guys in the witness protection program.

    2. As someone else already said: We all knew this was gonna end up in confrontation all along. Thank the idiotic French, who still do NOT get it, for the 12 months of torture we've been through. They still seem to think that if they can push M14 to accomodate some of the opposition's demands, things will work out. I got news for you, Kouchner: The opposition never had any intention of accepting any compromise. All those demands they made were completely bogus. It's the oldest trick in the book - a trick, incidentally, mastered by the Assad regime over the decades - make a demand that is almost impossible to accept, and then blame your opponent for "being an obstructionist" when they refuse said demand. Or, alternatively, if the opponent caves in and accepts the demand, just make a new one.

    3. Is anyone else laughing their ass off at Lahoud (of all people), declaring that the "list" is unconstitutional? The irony is beyond ridiculous.

  • At 11/17/07, 3:45 AM, Blogger Marillionlb said…

    Dear L,
    Rumor has it the list is being given CPR. Now that the names are down to three (Aoun seems to be excluded) it all falls down on guess who? Nabih and Saad. This is mind boggling to me. We did reach the point were the Christian Lebanese president is decided upon dy Sunnis and Shias and no one seems to care (long lice the Taef accord).
    Dear B.V
    I like your idea of shadow president, it reminds me of England's Shadow ministers, their might be a CONSTITUTIONAL way to pull it off; or why not have our own DC comic character?

    I wonder what the demented general is feeling right now!


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