Lebanese New Cabinet: Born Dysfunctional

by Ghassan Karam

The new cabinet of Prime  Minister Tammam Salam  that was announced on February 15, 2014
The new cabinet of Prime Minister Tammam Salam that was announced on February 15, 2014

A very popular saying by Einstein is specially made to describe the new Lebanese cabinet. He has reportedly said that “only irrational people will undertake the same experiment over and over again and yet expect different results”. It took over 10 months to reshuffle the same deck of cards of a weak hand to start with and to give birth to a new hand made up of the same cards but in a different order, an insignificant change. If the first dealt hand was considered weak then why would reshuffling the order make it strong?

A related feature that needs to be highlighted is the feeling that each of these politicians is a “Superman”; joined this time by a “wonder woman” . Is there any portfolio that Gibran Basil is not eminently qualified for? We are told that this civil engineer was a perfect fit for Energy and that he did a great job at Telecommunication. But since background and experience do not matter in Lebanon, we are told to rest assured that he would be our best Foreign Minister yet. Some have suggested that he was offered the Education portfolio also because of his unbelievably strong background in that field. He is very well read and understands  what is required to o have a successful academic outcome for the new generation of Lebanese. That is what “Supermen” are made for.

Fortunately for us, the Lebanese citizens, Gibran Basil is not the only Lebanese politician with that great and unique capacity to excel at any and all government portfolios. Wael Abu Faour, the young PSP politician is equally blessed, maybe even more so than Mr. Basil. He has already served as a Minister of State and handled the Social affairs Portfolio. Obviously that is a perfect background for the Health Ministry which he is to fill in the new cabinet. He is willing to undertake the responsibility of straightening the governmental mess at any cabinet that Mr. Jumblat asks him to take. Mr. Faour is such an obedient and loyal disciple that he will be more than glad to accept any position as long as Walid Bey asks him to do so. What is more important to the country? Is it qualifications for a post or is it the blessings of a scion of one of the oldest Lebanese feudal landlords masquerading as a modern day socialist?

Then there is the Shia duo of Fneish and Al Khalil. Each is so sure of his expertise in all fields that they would never hesitate to take on the challenge of a new position especially if that coincides with the narrow interests of the Speaker and Sayed Hasan Nasrallah. Devoted and patriotic cadres must always be willing to execute any and all demands of their party leadership. Mr. Fneish conquered all the intricacies of the Energy portfolio before he accepted the challenge of Labour and two different stints as a State Minister.

And what can one say about Mr. Harb, the perennial presidential candidate and the independent Maronite who will again be willing to march to any length provided his name will stay in the limelight. This multitalented lawyer has served as a Public transportation minister, an Education minister as well as a Labour minister prior to his new role as the chief technologist in the Telecommunication ministry.

We must not forget also the willingness of the Kataeb to offer their party support to any cabinet that will recognize them by offering them any two portfolios. The Kataeb , just like the FPM, PSP, Amal and Hezbollah have their own “supermen” that can perform marvelously at any position.

And last but not least the Lebanese are blessed to have Al Mustaqbal a party headed by a citizen who does not dare visit the country and whose favourite means of communication is a daily Tweet probably worded by his handlers. One day the Mustaqbal is not willing to join Hezbollah in a cabinet, the next day they will do so if they get the Cabinet of Interior Affairs to one of their favourite sons who is a master at sectarianism, Mr. Rifi. But once a party is essentially leaderless and unprincipled then it is not too difficult to get them to change their mind again. Obviously they accept to move Mr. Rifi to the Justice ministry and rationalize their constant changes in positions and ultimatums by using the thin logic that they will always sacrifice for the sake of peace and tranquility. Only the weak keep on sacrificing.

What charade makes obvious  is that this country has been ruled for a long time by whatever Hezbollah wants. Make no mistake about it. Hezbollah is the clear cut winner in this unproductive game that has become the hallmark of Lebanese politics, a game of incompetence and lack of political maturity. Hezbollah forced the Hariri government to fall, and then they got the Miqati government to replace it. They managed to postpone the Parliamentary elections in order to support directly the Syrian regime although they were part of a government that declared to the world its neutrality on the  Syria problem. That is when it became advantageous for them not to have a cabinet except in a care taker capacity and thus they forced Miqati to resign. They have been preventing the formation of an effective cabinet for over 10 months by playing the role of the master puppeteer. FPM under general Aoun was, as always, more than willing to enforce the wishes of Hezbollah to a t. But eventually the level of dissatisfaction by all this dysfunctionality increased to a crescendo and so Hezbollah again comes to the rescue. They force the Al Mustaqbal to go back on many of their demands, ask Aoun to stop his obfuscation and get Tamam Salam to escape the label of having failed to form a cabinet after the longest gestation period in the history of the country. Mr. Salam has not done himself or the nation any favours. He should have formed a small cabinet of qualified technocrats 10 months ago and forced the politicians to take a stand.

Economists and psychologists tell us that Homo sapiens are risk averse by nature. I am willing to take the opposite position. I will be a Giraffe; put my neck out; by saying from the start that this cabinet will not be any different or more effective than any of the last 4-5 ones. Pity the Lebanese.

  • Zack

    So is this site neutral or pro-March 14? Thanks in advance.

    • 5thDrawer

      Zack. The outlet is neutral. Read the ‘purpose’ and rules. The rest of us … well … 😉

      • 5thDrawer

        AfRyT … is this a ‘negative’ article too?? I don’t see a reply to my proposals yet. Are you formulating something rational we could think of??

        • AfRyT

          What kind of proposals? You well know I am not gay like You, so don’t propose Me anything ok?
          ¿Formulating something rational that You can think of? Well, yes! How about if for a change You go inside Lebanon and get rid of all sectarian groups? Hows that? You can do better if You go there and form a cabinet, I want to see that since You are so eager to please, and to show everyone how smart You are.

          what I said that there is a lot of negativism about this new/old cabinet stands, Your comments and many others are self destructive, Your agenda is not Lebanese, Your agenda is pro Israhell,

          The fact of the matter is that the very same criticism from persons like You of doubtful origin is what is hurting Lebanon, How about if for a change in Our multi sectarian Country We get together and think that the Enemy Outside Lebanon can be more detrimental than the Evil inside. Once We have solved the outside threat, The final result will be to continue united or to bring You to Lebanon so You can dismantle all Confessional Sects and be Our First Gay President.

          • Igor Chingoski

            Is more important to focus in the outside threat, it can be imminent if we don’t do something to avoid it. but i don’t agree with you AfRyT, bringing 5thDrawer to Lebanon as our first gay president will mean a pink revolution and that I can’t take it.
            but seriously concentrating more efforts in divide our country instead of unite is like self hate. lets do our balance and take our share gains or loses and deal with it.

          • 5thDrawer

            Tsk Igor. You’re just upset because Putin was trying to convert a Lesbian at the 70 degree ‘Winter games’ with hugs and kisses. :-)))

          • Hind Abyad

            Her’S one up to Igor..stop insuting each orher.

          • 5thDrawer

            Tsk tsk Igor. You’re just upset because Putin was trying to convert a Lesbian at the 70F degree ‘Winter games’ with hugs and kisses. :-)))

          • MekensehParty

            What country exactly do you mean when you say “our country”?
            Hezbollahland?
            Keep dreaming of uniting all Lebanese under the yellow flag!

          • MekensehParty

            What country exactly do you mean when you say “our country”?
            Hezbollahland?
            Keep dreaming of uniting all Lebanese under the yellow flag!

          • 5thDrawer

            Probably didn’t read my ‘proposal’… which you had asked for. But thinking the evil inside at ‘home’ not as bad as what is outside is the greatest mistake.
            You’ll never put up a United Lebanon when crooks run the place, and ‘religionists’ cut out the female population all the time.

          • Maborlz Ez-Hari

            You didn’t tell me your a gay politician?

          • 5thDrawer

            Yah .. according to these guys, now every male who would lie at the feet of a Lebanese female skier is ‘gay’. Their muftis tell them so. :-))
            Mind you, the word ‘gay’ used to have a much different meaning. And she sure made me happy. :-)))

          • Maborlz Ez-Hari

            Yeah gay as in happy, not gay as in confused, twisted and doing life in Ugandan prison.

          • 5thDrawer

            I wouldn’t spend life in Uganda, in either state of mind. 😉

          • 5thDrawer

            I wouldn’t spend a life in Uganda, in either state of mind. 😉

          • 5thDrawer

            Yah .. according to these guys (although I’m neither of those), now every male who would lie at the feet of a Lebanese female skier is ‘gay’. Their muftis tell them so. :-))
            Mind you, the word ‘gay’ used to have a much different meaning. And she sure made me happy. :-)))

          • AfRyT

            You are digressing from internal politics to feverish gay nightmares, And insisting in Your troubled agenda of divide and defeat Lebanon, I am sure that You and some others will be more happy rallying all Lebanese to kill each other, and then what? ¿Leave the country without any living soul so others can take it? You are a misconception of reality, You are the AntiChrist, Because in every conflict between other Sectarian Groups is Christians of all nominations who are trapped in the middle and killed.
            We have a war in Syria affecting Our lives inside Lebanon in a very drastic way, We have the inconvenience of Israel who displaced 360,000 Palestinians to Lebanon in 1973 and those Palestinians became near 700,000, They are in boiling refugee camps threatening Lebanon’s stability, ¿And You came here trying to influence Lebanese to rally against each other? You must be wearing Your Israeli Dominatrix garments,

            In first instance since 1948 Israel’s rogue hostilities brought more extremists to Our region, Moving Palestine, literally the whole Country inside Lebanon and making room for Israelis to live comfy ¿while We bend and take it…? ¿Since when a group of doubtful origin has more right than We do? ¿Do You deny that? ¿Do You deny the actual situation? ¿Do You deny not having an agenda for Israel? ¿Do You deny that is obvious?
            Like I said, You are a Prostitute of Misinformation, You know nothing or You want to ignore Our reality like if wanting to export the cruelty of some Subhuman identity to destroy Lebanon and Lebanese, drenching Our Country with Our Own blood!
            I always said that We construct Our opinion about others by the way they express themselves, And You 5thDrawer, are an abortion of hell! Besides of being an ignorant who think that true Patriotic Lebanese are going to fall for Your claims. If You are not happy with the present situation or You show Me how can You do better without any violence, or shut up!
            Another solution for Your problem is to stop using that pink marijuana You smoke, And drop Your Israeli dominatrix garments, ¡You are not coherent in any way!
            ¡Not a single True Patriotic Lebanese will take You seriously!

          • 5thDrawer

            Oh ‘Alf-right’ … sad isn’t it ?? But I’ll drink to that, Mr. True Patriot. Shoot away…

          • MekensehParty

            What kind of distorted logic is that? you solve the outside threat before the internal one? hahahaha
            Which political science university did you graduate from?
            How-to-be-a-dictator University?
            You keep proving what more and more people are thinking of Lebanon, that it’s full of people still living and thinking as if they were in the middle ages.

          • AfRyT

            Your sore laugh and Your deranged mind works counterclockwise, being in the Middle ages would be hypocrites like You preaching democracy while practicing dictatorship.
            accordingly with Your corrupted way of seeing things, for You would be more convenient to deal with the internal threat before the outside threat, How convenient for You! so in the meantime while We kill each other, Your country of Hungarian expatriates who in turn became Israelis will take Our Land, You should be protesting for the corruption You have there, what are You doing in this site if You hate Lebanese, It is not Lebanon who is in the Middle Ages, It is Your kind of ragged individuals who We don’t want to adopt like orphans trying to kill their step fathers.
            You who like a dog with rabies state that Democracy should prevail and when You see a cabinet with all Sects included cry foul, You are pitiful parody of human excuse, You are a waste of air when Your inhale and a putrid exhale of subhuman brutality, You have no coherence like Your counterpart, You are willing to criticize and destroy the advance of reconciliation, You brand people like Hezbollah without any firm ground, You just fire away Your dribble and infect those who ignore Our reality, But never a Pro Lebanese comment from You, ¿What are You? You are nothing, You have no valid contribution in this forum, only hate. ¿why don’t You express Your hate face to face? Igor gave You the chance, ¿why not take it? ¡I Take it!

          • 5thDrawer

            Well Mekenseh .. now you’re getting the lovely prose too. That’ll teach you to have some logic. You should remember the Shiites threw that out in 1400. 😉

          • MekensehParty

            did they ever had any?
            Historically, one waits a couple hundred years after the prophet to split a religion. Not the day following his “departure”..

          • Farq2

            You know nothing about Shiites 5th. So please don’t make out you do. Stick to your intoxicating. It serves you best.

          • MekensehParty

            He knows exactly what he should know about Shiites…

          • Farq2

            And I know exactly all I need to know about you. If only I can describe the words on this blog. You get the drift dopey.

          • MekensehParty

            He knows exactly what he should know about Shiites…

          • MekensehParty

            I said come meet me in the landfill (or boura in Lebanese) behind dahyeh’s Mahdi school but you wussies didn’t dare show up.
            So I beat a couple dozen random zaaran passing by and went back home.

          • Igor Chingoski

            You will need to provide some witness for that claim, That is precisely the goal of My invitation, Lets make it real, not fiction, You are having some dreams with delirium of greatness, the invitation stands for You and 5thDrawer,
            send Me Your Address and phone number to send You the tickets and instructions on how to get to My ranch = toscareyou@yahoo.es ….. ok tel Me in a e-m if You really feel like it.

          • MekensehParty

            you have a ranch or are you in a ranch?

          • 5thDrawer

            I thought they called them ‘Dachas’ … but he may have ‘bought the ranch’. ;-))

          • MekensehParty

            he drowned in Dickens Cider

          • 5thDrawer

            I thought they called them ‘Dachas’ … but he may have ‘bought the ranch’. ;-))

          • YeUx

            Landfill is where you belong. You are garbage.

          • MekensehParty

            I didn’t build the school there, it’s the sponsors of the Mahdi who chose the spot, probably knowing what kind of education such a school will give…
            After all, plenty of stones in a landfill, great for the stoning weekly contest in pGHepaGHation for libeGHating phalastine!

          • AfRyT

            Your sore laugh and Your deranged mind works counterclockwise, being in the Middle ages would be hypocrites like You preaching democracy while practicing dictatorship.
            accordingly with Your corrupted way of seeing things, for You would be more convenient to deal with the internal threat before the outside threat, How convenient for You! so in the meantime while We kill each other, Your country of Hungarian expatriates who in turn became Israelis will take Our Land, You should be protesting for the corruption You have there, what are You doing in this site if You hate Lebanese, It is not Lebanon who is in the Middle Ages, It is Your kind of ragged individuals who We don’t want to adopt like orphans trying to kill their step fathers.
            You who like a dog with rabies state that Democracy should prevail and when You see a cabinet with all Sects included cry foul, You are pitiful parody of human excuse, You are a waste of air when Your inhale and a putrid exhale of subhuman brutality, You have no coherence like Your counterpart, You are willing to criticize and destroy the advance of reconciliation, You brand people like Hezbollah without any firm ground, You just fire away Your dribble and infect those who ignore Our reality, But never a Pro Lebanese comment from You, ¿What are You? You are nothing, You have no valid contribution in this forum, only hate. ¿why don’t You express Your hate face to face? Igor gave You the chance, ¿why not take it? ¡I Take it!

          • MekensehParty

            I said come meet me in the landfill (or boura in Lebanese) behind dahyeh’s Mahdi school but you wussies didn’t dare show up.
            So I beat a couple dozen random zaaran passing by and went back home.

          • YeUx

            Landfill is where you belong. You are garbage.

    • ghassan Karam

      Zack,
      Responsible journalism does not rest on supporting a predetermined political group irrespective of the policies and acts adopted by the said group. Responsible journalism seeks the truth and presents editorial content that is balanced. One would also hope that readers would reject editorials that violate the above by adopting biased knee jerk reactions .

      • 5thDrawer

        Good to see you back, Ghassan. 😉

        • MekensehParty

          and he’s on fire!

  • Zack

    So is this media outlet neutral or pro-March 14? Thanks in advance.

    • 5thDrawer

      Zack. The outlet is neutral. Read the ‘purpose’ and rules. The rest of us … well … 😉

      • 5thDrawer

        AfRyT … is this a ‘negative’ article too?? I don’t see a reply to my proposals yet. Are you formulating something rational we could think of? Something we could be ‘optimistic’ about? I wait ….

    • ghassan Karam

      Zack,
      Responsible journalism does not rest on supporting a predetermined political group irrespective of the policies and acts adopted by the said group. Responsible journalism seeks the truth and presents editorial content that is balanced. One would also hope that readers would reject editorials that violate the above by adopting biased knee jerk reactions .

      • 5thDrawer

        Good to see you back, Ghassan. 😉

  • Geo

    lebanese politics must be a streesful gig, the hair has abandoned ship for most of them except for count dracula behind slueiman to the right 🙁

    • ghassan Karam

      Geo,
      The easy solution to this problem is to appoint more women. Many North European countries have half of cabinets given to women. Rawanda has 35% given to women and at last count the US cabinet had seven out of 21 .

      • Geo

        Ghassan Thanks for the reply, I must say rawanda is a surprise to me I guess you can learn something new everyday.

        You have my vote for more women as they are equipped with a blend of virtues and qualities that would likely result in less wars and violence, a motherly prespective would be less prone to sending young ones into battle fields and lean more towards dialogue.

      • …some guy

        Ghassan Thanks for the reply, I must say rawanda is a surprise to me I guess you can learn something new everyday.

        You have my vote for more women as they are equipped with a blend of virtues and qualities that would likely result in less wars and violence, a motherly prespective would be less prone to sending young ones into battle fields and lean more towards dialogue.

      • nagy_michael2

        Appointing Women will solve the problem when you have the mentality of women being abused and even killed and not much done about it. Until the women’s right is respected and fairly handled by our government then what’s the use of appointing women anyway? democracy and trust has to be among lebanese then women rights will come thru easily. Until we remove the sect and tribal mentality and most of all the greed where ministers are taking what they can. And also lust for power and afraid of each other.. then again our nation and our infastructure can never be built. Therefore Lebanon will always be the weak link and countries around us will always use us for regional power struggles.. But I agree with your article 100% and wish the politician would be loyal to lebanon not to themselves.

        • ghassan Karam

          nagy-michael2,
          Geo made a nice observation about how so many of the ministers do not have much hair and so my response was to overcome the problem by appointing women.That is fair solution 🙂 Seriously though, of course we do not look at the female as an equal in practically any field. They cannot even give their children citizenship. Had there been gender equality then we would not be talking about it. Let us not forget that we chose to look the other way whenever there is an “honour crime” or domestic abuse. Gender equality is a human right it is as simple as that.

        • Leborigine

          The results speak for themselves! That’s what you get from a dysfunctional society and a dysfunctional administration.

      • nagy_michael2

        Appointing Women will solve the problem when you have the mentality of women being abused and even killed and not much done about it. Until the women’s right is respected and fairly handled by our government then what’s the use of appointing women anyway? democracy and trust has to be among lebanese then women rights will come thru easily. Until we remove the sect and tribal mentality and most of all the greed where ministers are taking what they can. And also lust for power and afraid of each other.. then again our nation and our infastructure can never be built. Therefore Lebanon will always be the weak link and countries around us will always use us for regional power struggles.. But I agree with your article 100% and wish the politician would be loyal to lebanon not to themselves.

    • Prophettttt

      Geo,Good day
      The horseshoe pattern around the base of the scalps on the majority of the ministers’ heads tell us that genes don’t lie. The bastards share same genes,regardless of their faiths or sects.

    • Hind Abyad

      What? It’s telepathy online..i just mentioned Drakula 3 minutes ago. Good nigth.:)

    • Hind Abyad

      What? It’s telepathy online..i just mentioned Drakula 3 minutes ago. Good nigth.:)

  • Leborigine

    The results speak for themselves! That’s what you get from a dysfunctional society and a dysfunctional administration.

  • libnan1

    This the kind of women we need for social affairs

    • Geo

      Wowwwww, what a beautifulllllllll Chair 🙂 get her off libnan I am taking the chair home.

      • libnan1

        OK, she’s off

        • Geo

          thanks bro but I now I want the rock too! oops too heavy, I think I will go sit on the rock since I cant take it :)P

        • Hind Abyad

          She looks already taken by Dracula.

          • Geo

            And Dracula is ready to put her in the oven, she is wrapped in aluminum foil 🙂

          • 5thDrawer

            MMmmmm .. and DARK hair … ;-?

          • Hind Abyad

            DARK lips,,

          • 5thDrawer

            MMmmmmmm ….
            (and hmmm .. how does she know? 😉

          • libnan1

            Yeah dark lips might cause a stain …. you’re definitely sexier …

          • Hind Abyad

            DARK lips,,

          • 5thDrawer

            MMmmmmmm ….
            (and hmmm .. how does she know? 😉

          • libnan1

            Yeah dark lips might cause a stain …. you’re definitely sexier …

          • libnan1

            You like that 5th …:) I like Burnetts too. A quiz for you, what do you call a blond standing on her head?

          • libnan1

            You like that 5th …:) I like Burnetts too. A quiz for you, what do you call a blond standing on her head?

        • 5th ass

          Mission accomplished- she got what she was after! thank you Lebanese politicians,

          Now I am famous- Check!

          Now I can name my price- Check!

          Now I am rich -check !

          who cares about the Olympics !

    • ghassan Karam

      And this is precisely why we do not have any women in important positions. Many still insist that females are commodities.

      • Maborlz Ez-Hari

        There are many positions women can be placed in, but it’s only when they are allowed to open their mouths that they are a nuisance. The freedom of thought and inturn speech renders them very painful to bear and useless. However, give them a good old sewing machine and a stove and they are the essence of what a women really should be. Ummmmm, the way we were.

        • Hind Abyad

          You miss your Grand Maman..me too.

          • MekensehParty

            One of the best articles describing this bad soup of a government.
            More mockery to a population avid of mockery.
            Thanks Ghassan!!

        • Hind Abyad

          You miss your Grand Maman..me too.

        • Hannibal

          Coming from a self proclaimed Christian who should believe in Mary the mother of Jesus. Mahbol Ez-ayri forgot his mother carried him for a full term… OOPS my mistake… I bet you were prematurely born and you do know the rest of the story…

          • Maborlz Ez-Hari

            What’s wrong with being a fanatical Christian? It won’t hurt no one, I think you and Hind need to go back to basics maybe start off with a chicken coup, dig a well for some fresh clean water, throw out the microwave and light up the sarge start making some fresh bread with labne and zeitoun……. Salim dayetkoun…….
            Don’t forget the nice myafen shanklish.

          • Hannibal

            The only thingy “m3affen” here is you…

          • Maborlz Ez-Hari

            Looool, I agree.

          • Maborlz Ez-Hari

            Looool, I agree.

          • YeUx

            You give bad name to Christians, I doubt very much You are one.

          • Maborlz Ez-Hari

            Oufffft, how did I do that? A bit of a joke my friend that’s all. I’m as liberal as anyone here, but I’m still an individual cos my opinion is often different to others big deal. Go get something to eat your looking horribly thin there.

          • Hind Abyad

            I can make laban myself..no need to go buy ..ok?

          • Maborlz Ez-Hari

            Then get yourself ready for a proposal, your new name will be Hind Ez-Hari what do you think? Sounds great agree?

          • Hind Abyad

            Thank you for the proposal i’m flatered..(do i have to sacker bouzi too?)

          • Maborlz Ez-Hari

            Loooool, The pleasure is all yours………..

          • Maborlz Ez-Hari

            Loooool, The pleasure is all yours………..

        • Hannibal

          Coming from a self proclaimed Christian who should believe in Mary the mother of Jesus. Mahbol Ez-ayri forgot his mother carried him for a full term… OOPS my mistake… I bet you were prematurely born and you do know the rest of the story…

          • Maborlz Ez-Hari

            What’s wrong with being a fanatical Christian? It won’t hurt no one, I think you and Hind need to go back to basics maybe start off with a chicken coup, dig a well for some fresh clean water, throw out the microwave and light up the sarge start making some fresh bread served with labne and zeitoun……. Salim dayetkoun…….
            Don’t forget the nice myafen shanklish.
            And if I can see an improvement in your attitude then you can wack on a nice two piece bikini and wear it in the backyard while your mowing the lawn…… Khaye the way I like it.

          • Hind Abyad

            I can make laban myself..no need to go buy ..ok?

        • YeUx

          Where was that? eastern europe…?

          • Maborlz Ez-Hari

            No not Eastern Europe, on any given day in sydney Australia.

      • libnan1

        That looks like an important position to me …

      • dateam

        The fact that we discuss the point of a womans role is a problem in itself…if we learnt to look at qualifications alone then that should be enough regardless of gender,race,colour creed or religion…take the new cabinet…Minister of the Displaced Alice Shabtini, 67, a Maronite from Jbeil, is the head of the Military Court of Cassation. She has been a judge for 41 years specializing in international labor law. She is also a professor of labor law….but Rifi gets the justice ministry? If you want to go into more depth in your article which by the way i found very humurously put to a certain point..what qualifies any of most of these guys? What qualifies hariri junior to be a pm? He wasnt even born in lebanon? He had no political history prior to being given the job? And now lebanon cannot function unless he is pm for the next 40 years? Add to that the family dynasties that still exist…..One needs to ask themselves for all the education of our people and as lebanese we like to have the best in life we still accept the same old same old same? Dont be surprised if aoun becomes president in return for hariri becoming pm again? Thats just the way it is in lebanon.

        • ghassan Karam

          dateam,
          there is lots of truth in your description of the way our society is structured and the way it behaves. That is sad. ( That is why I often harp on the point that those who created the problem cannot be part of the solution i.e. we need to elect new young people , from both genders and of all sects to the parliament).

    • Hannibal

      I have a chair like that… I will reserve it for you to stretch that way on it… Then I will take a picture and send it to Aoun so he gets a boner 😉 Sorry could not help myself.
      Don’t you think that women can be presented in a different stance? The Bonobo apes are the most peaceful amongst all apes and Lo and Behold they are matriarchal.
      It saddens me that the Bonobo is smarter than some humans.

      • man-o-war

        The Bonobo females also use sex as a tool.

      • libnan1

        That might be true if you look like her ….:) I might even get a boner too . You must be bi ..:)

  • libnan1

    Ghassan, You wrote a whole para to criticize Basil and Aoun. Basil has masters degree in Civil engineering for AUB which makes him well qualified to be an energy minster. And coming from an engineer we can easily pick up any ministry after all the world runs as a result of engineers, this is usually what separates developed countries from undeveloped ones. Plus Basil have at his disposal some very smart people at FPM that he can tap for expertise.
    The main reason Aoun wanted the foreign ministry is to affirm your right and mine as well as others so we can vote in future elections and can be counted as Lebanese. Also to straighten out the Lebanese embassies and councils starting with NY consulate. So take it easy on yourself you might be able to be counted as a result of Aoun’s actions.

  • Prophettttt

    Ghassan, The only surprise here is that a cabinet was formed,and not who the ministers are.As you called it;dysfunctional cabinet .It is a true reflection of a dysfunctional political structure,and an geniun product of a sectarian society that keeps marching backward.I think that no body wanted to own a house with a collapsed roof yet,and hence they all agreed to keep the structure of the state intact,whereby a cabinet will be in place when the president’s term ends. This cabinet may be in power for a while,and only a fool should expect any progress at all. As for who is assuming what ministry, you should not be surprised because it has always been the case,and why would we expect anything different now. But you are right that we can dream a bit.Good seeing you..

    • Igor Chingoski

      Ho boy! male hormones is the cause of male bald pattern, shish! good thing You can’t see my picture. but I can assure any girl that I am truly macho, and not a hairy useless pseudo boy.

      • Prophettttt

        Well, not worth replying to.

  • MekensehParty

    One of the best articles describing this bad soup of a government.
    More mockery to a population avid of mockery.
    Thanks Ghassan!!

  • Sebouh80

    Professor Karam,
    First of all, You are absolutely correct to quote Einstein’s saying that says any repeat of failure is the true embodiment of madness. This can be applied to our sad predicament since we had been waiting for more then 10 month for government formation, and in the end we got a cabinet that contains more or less the same political actors from the previous government except with minor changes. Therefore, my question in this respect is was it worth wating for this long knowing full well that we would endup in this direction. The other funny thing that I mentioned the other day is that the portfolios of each ministerial position in Lebanon is allocated to individuals that seem to have limited or let alone any knowlege in their assigned task. For example, Mr.Samir Mokbel is a Contractor is given the portfolio of defence and Mr. Ashraf Rifi who was the head of Internal Security Forces is assigned the Justice Ministry and the list goes on. One begs the question can such a dysfunctional government that is filled with contradictions be able to meet the many challenges going forward. Only time would tell, but the intial prospects do not look promissing at all.

    • ghassan Karam

      Sebouh80,
      One should not prejudge an outcome before it takes place but in this case I am emboldened to suggest that , as you suggest, nothing has been gained from this very long gestation period. I think that this honeymoon would not last for long anyway. 100 days and this will become another care taker cabinet with no accomplishments.

  • Sebouh80

    Professor Karam,
    First of all, You are absolutely correct to quote Einstein’s saying that says any repeat of failure is the true embodiment of madness. This can be applied to our sad predicament since we had been waiting for more then 10 month for government formation, and in the end we got a cabinet that contains more or less the same political actors from the previous government except with minor changes. Therefore, my question in this respect is was it worth wating for this long knowing full well that we would endup in this direction. The other funny thing that I mentioned the other day is that the portfolios of each ministerial position in Lebanon is allocated to individuals that seem to have limited or let alone any knowlege in their assigned task. For example, Mr.Samir Mokbel is a Contractor is given the portfolio of defence and Mr. Ashraf Rifi who was the head of Internal Security Forces is assigned the Justice Ministry and the list goes on. One begs the question can such a dysfunctional government that is filled with contradictions be able to meet the many challenges going forward. Only time would tell, but the intial prospects do not look promissing at all.

  • 5thDrawer

    The decision must be made about which way Lebanon wants to go – and only the people can do that.
    Here is an interesting bit of ‘thought’ (generality) which attempts to address the misunderstanding of what kind of democracy people actually wish for; VS that which semi-exists under the present ‘Confessional’ concept which attempts to placate two different ‘desires’ – which are whether one wishes to be controlled ‘in law’ by religions or not.
    ——— Quote ——
    Two major ideas against religious democracy could be recognized.
    • From the Secularism point of view, the ideals of a democratic society and a secular state are unified. Therefore the firm principle of separation of religion and state is implicit, such that without this separation there can be no freedom from tyranny. Absolute sovereignty of the people dominates in this idea. Religion should be set aside from the working of government in order to establish democracy and freedom.
    • From the Legalism point of view, democracy can never enjoy a general acceptance in a religious society. Anything outside of the rigid, but pervasive, interpretation of the religious texts is rejected and the absolute sovereignty of God prevails such that there is no role for the sovereignty of people. The less freedom a society enjoys, the stronger religion will be.

    Examples:
    Historical democracies with state sponsored religious laws:
    • Athenian democracy (Ancient Greek religion)
    • Roman Republic (Ancient Roman religion)
    • Buddhist ganarajyas
    • Icelandic Commonwealth (Norse paganism, after AD 1000 Christianity)
    • Old Swiss Confederacy (Christianity)

    Contemporary democracies with state religions:
    • Christian: Greece, Argentina, Bolivia, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom
    • Islamic: Bangladesh, Malaysia
    • Jewish: Israel
    • Buddhist: Bhutan

    Contemporary states with state religions that claim to be democratic but are not recognised as such by the international community:
    • Christian: Armenia
    • Islamic: Iran
    ——————– End Quote ——-

    The divide between Sunni and Shia exists, yes, but so does the thought on each side. In the most recent ‘divide’ between Shia groups, the 1970 ‘concept’ of ‘one’ Ayahtolla that only his wise words and interpretations of the texts should be followed as ‘law’ led to ‘the revolution’ and a split with Iraq as well when other Muslim ‘Scholars’ in Iran thought they should just go with the flow and let events pass as they would if Saddam Hussein took over the country.
    It was also the most recent ‘divide’ among the ‘sects’ of Shiia thought about whether the 12th Imam was to waited for peacefully, or ONE Guardian Imam should be holding the ‘seat of power’ in place for him. Since those divisions of thought have been going on since Muhammad died, basically, it is not a question of wanting a ‘secular democracy’ so much in the minds of Muslims, as a question of how much ‘religious democracy’ can be given under more modern societal interpretations of ‘Sharia Law’.
    How Lebanon can blend a ‘secular’ with a ‘religious’ set of laws has yet to be seen.
    We know what El Supremo wants.