Lebanon’s makeshift govt could avert a crisis
The only reason to celebrate the new government in Lebanon is that its formation could help avert a presidential election crisis
The only reason to celebrate the new government in Lebanon is that its formation could help avert a presidential election crisis and an ensuing vacuum. This is the simple reality despite the unwarranted shock and protest by many and the flowery acceptance speeches of ministers.
With all due respect to the newly appointed ministers, although many of them are certainly worthy of cabinet positions, none of them was appointed on merit in this round. They were names and confessions color-coded in a game of power balance we all know too well and are even sick of. Thus, we stand baffled by the reaction from crowds who feel “sold out” by their leaders, unable to accept such “concessions” to the other side and feel that this cabinet makes them the “laughing stock” of their foes.
We also stand baffled by their leaders and spin doctors who are busy sending out messages to comfort their camps and assure them this is a “victory” over the other side and it is “temporary” anyway. The numb masses unable to think on their own and formulate opinions independently, take to social networks and express their dismay, proving once more this country cannot be a unified n
The fact remains that this government is like the ones before it, like the tale proclaiming the end of the war in 1990 and every attempt at national reconciliationOctavia Nasr
ation ever again. They praise their leaders, they proclaim publicly they trust “their vision,” but they cannot get over the shock. They wanted something to wave in the face of their opponents and tease them that they won and the other side lost.
That’s how they were taught the game is played. Here it is all about scoring points and making the other side feel inferior, smaller, less of a patriot. They are looking for proof the other side is made up of traitors and sellouts not nation-building partners.
The fact remains that this government is like the ones before it, like the tale proclaiming the end of the war in 1990 and every attempt at national reconciliation, like politicians’ statements about co-existence and the need and reliance on the “other.” It is fiction of major proportions. It is an illusion, the brainchild of people unworthy of a country, unable to rule a country, people who have no legitimacy beyond their clans.
It is a fictitious government to avert a vacuum, because no one seems to want a repeat of the vacuum crisis of 1988 whose echo continues to reverberate today and its fingerprints exist all over this cabinet!
This article was first published in al-Nahar on Feb. 17, 2014.
Multi-award-winning journalist Octavia Nasr served as CNN’s senior editor of Middle Eastern affairs, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the use of social media in traditional media. She moved to CNN in 1990, but was dismissed in 2010 after tweeting her sorrow at the death of Hezbollah’s Mohammed Fadlallah. Nasr now runs her own firm, Bridges Media Consulting, whose main aim is to help companies better leverage the use of social networks.