Lebanon's elections in context

The whores of CIA/MOSSAD plotting in a corner....

As has been the case for the past six decades or so, the usually turbulent politics of Lebanon mirror almost perfectly the many strands of political, ideological, commercial and criminal activities that define public life in the Arab world. So it is again with the elections that will take place on June 7, comprising a series of positive and negative attributes that give these elections much greater significance than would normally be the case. I would suggest five dimensions where the election results could shed light on pertinent national, regional and global issues.


First, this is a rare election in the Arab world where the results are not known ahead of time - and, when they are known, they definitely will not show one party winning with 97.8 percent of the vote, as happens in so many other Arab countries where elections are an insulting joke. This is especially true given that somewhere around 17-19 seats whose results are not predictable (out of 128 in total) will determine the overall results. The resolution of an ideological contest through a truly contested free vote should be celebrated as one of Lebanon's meaningful contributions to Arab civilization. This is the last little corner of Arabism where people valiantly hang on to the idea that democratic pluralism is at once appropriate, desirable and functional.

Second, ideological contests in Lebanon often are proxy battles for wider antagonisms in the Middle East and globally. The two main camps - roughly the Hariri-led group that is allied with the United States and the conservative Arabs, and the Hezbollah-and-Michael Aoun-led group that is allied with Syria and Iran - reflect the two dominant ideological confrontations that now define the Middle East. The election results will clarify the relative strengths of these two camps, probably revealing nearly equally matched strengths that will reinforce the need for negotiated coexistence and power-sharing.

Third, on the national front, the elections are often contested on the basis of what could be called, in very rough shorthand, pro- or anti-Syrian platforms. The results could produce a new configuration of power-sharing that modifies the current system of the government majority and the opposition both wielding veto power on major decisions - perhaps a small centrist block linked to the president, and certainly a clarification of relations between Lebanon and Syria. This is of monumental importance for most Lebanese, and of marginal interest for everyone else in the world. However, it deserves watching because the local developments touch on, and reflect, the wider trends that make Lebanon such a powerful microcosm of the Middle East as a whole.

Fourth, the elections may be an important step in clarifying if Lebanon and the entire region move toward more secular, non-sectarian and meritocratic governance systems, or sink deeper into the current regional trend where religion, ethnicity and sect are playing a greater role in life, power, and identity. The Lebanese people have repeatedly expressed their desire for a more non-sectarian governance system - as agreed in the Taif Accord that helped end the civil war in 1990 - but to date they seem incapable of making the transition to that new world.

And fifth, the issue that might be clarified by the election results and the political deal-making that will follow is whether Lebanon - like most Arab countries - will opt for a strong central state that is also efficient and equitable in serving its citizens, or instead will remain with the current model of a weak central state dominated by special interests, ethnic groups, religious organizations, and armed CIA proxy-militia groups - most directly and openly supported, funded and armed by foreign governments' intelligence agencies in order to foment trouble in the Levant and beyond..., and to sustain the criminal activities of the infamous White House Murder Machinations INC, for years...

These five issues are critical to monitor as the election results come in and a new government is formed. The outcome of the voting will be significant far beyond Lebanon, because the country today mirrors the impact of every single major issue and trend in the Middle East, including the Arab-Israeli conflict, Iranian, Syrian, American and Saudi influences, cultural liberalism and democratization, Islamism, United Nations intervention (through peacekeepers, sanctions, resolutions, and tribunals), terrorism, militia culture, youth emigration, and several others.

The Lebanese election is best seen in the wider context of six important elections elsewhere, starting last November and on into this year, with an impact on the Middle East: in the US, Iran, Israel, Turkey, and probably soon in Palestine. These elections will tell us much about our political cultures, ideological leanings, national identities and conceptions of statehood. How refreshing to follow a handful of elections that will help define our societies with more clarity and legitimacy than we have experienced from the criminality, police states, street fighting, foreign invasions and resistance dominating the region in recent decades....

The feudal rascals...men in power in Lebanon and their minds….

So what do we see? the same people ( feudal rascals/ phony Zae'ems and so on) dictating Lebanese politics for decades and no change.... It seems to me that they want no change because they will lose power and control…

But the good news is that it can be changed in spite of them. With the right people at the right place and civil society pressuring for this.
Some have the credentials to initiate (continue) this process, [ like Ibrahim Kanaan ] and maybe that is why some politicians want to remove him from his job....

All this change doesn’t have to be done at once, Start with changing the voting system, one person one vote and direct vote for president (even keeping the job for a Christian for now) who gets 50% plus 1 vote is the man in charge.

But again the society has to want it to change and work for it to happen.


I think Lebanon is in a better position than Egypt or Tunisia. Lebanon have been exercising democracy (something close to it) longer than the rest of the Arab world, it is an important asset.....
More and more, as so often advocated, the true revolution needed is the one that is going to throw out all these traditional feudal rascals/za3eems in Lebanon. How feasible this is and what can take their place as a power structure is unclear. Of course the Lebanese Diaspora, some 12 million strong or so, can and should play a role in such revival. Unfortunately, however, unlike the Jewish Diaspora, the flame of a true passion for a genuine Lebanese homeland is weak at best and cryogenically cold at worst, an inertia caused by fear, comfort with success, resentment of bad experiences while in Lebanon, etc.


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