Why Lebanon’s PM Mikati Resigned?

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mikati nasrallahBy: Bilal Y. Saab

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati surprised very few when he resigned on Friday, causing the technocratic government that he created with Hezbollah’s blessing two years ago to collapse. This final chapter of Mikati’s tenure seemed to be written well before he took the post in January 2011. Mikati, a prominent Sunni politician and millionaire businessman with international contacts, knew very well that Hezbollah, which effectively controls Lebanon’s government, would make life very difficult for him. Nevertheless, he accepted the challenge, perhaps naively believing that he could do something that no politician has been able to do since former prime minister Rafiq Hariri was killed on February 14, 2005: bring stability and normalcy to a country seemingly always on the verge of sectarian strife. In the end, though, he could not.

To fulfill his ambitious plan, Mikati sought to create a moderate center in Lebanese politics that could mediate the ongoing feud between Hezbollah, the party accused of killing Hariri, and Saad Hariri, the son of Rafiq and prime minister between 2009 and 2011. He convinced Michel Suleiman, the serving president, and Walid Jumblatt, the influential Druze leader, to join his coalition. Then, for added credibility, Mikati sought political backing from regional powers, such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Even Iran and the United States, which had been fighting a cold war in the Middle East (often through proxies on Lebanese soil), gave their blessings to Mikati’s plan.

For its part, Hezbollah, the dominant party in Lebanon’s politics since Rafiq Hariri’s assassination and Syria’s forced exit shortly afterward, judged that it could afford having Mikati in charge of the cabinet as long as he did not cross any red lines that threatened Hezbollah’s security. To be sure, the Shia party kept putting Mikati in some very uncomfortable positions. First, in 2011, Hezbollah’s leaders rejected calls for Lebanon to support the United Nations’ special tribunal on the assassination of Rafiq Hariri. Mikati threatened to resign if Hezbollah kept obstructing. Grumbling, Hezbollah decided to cut its losses and agree to cooperate, despite the fact that the international body was about to implicate the group in Hariri’s murder.

Second came the assassination in October 2012 of Wissam al-Hassan, the director of the intelligence branch of Lebanon’s internal security forces (the Hariri camp believes that Hezbollah and Syria are behind the killing). With ties to the Hariri family and Saudi Arabia, he was a major Sunni figure in Lebanon’s sectarian politics. He was, in effect, the country’s intelligence tsar, the man who knew the state’s most intimate secrets. Supposedly, one of those secrets was evidence of a spate of assassinations of anti-Syrian individuals by Hezbollah, starting with Rafiq Hariri in 2005. And that knowledge had made him a target. The political shock and (limited) sectarian violence that followed Hassan’s death made Mikati think seriously about resigning — he even informed the cabinet of his decision to quit. But Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United States counseled Mikati to soldier on for the sake of Lebanon’s stability. So he did, but the political costs for him of governing above an unpopular Hezbollah-controlled government were starting to pile up. Among his main support base, which is Sunni, he was losing ground.

rifi w new graduates of US trainingHezbollah threw a third wrench into the works this year, when it announced its opposition to extending the term of Ashraf Rifi, the general director of the internal security forces, and to the creation of an oversight body for the upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled for June of this year. Rifi, who is loyal to Hariri, is due to retire early next month, and Hezbollah cannot wait to see him go. Of course, for Hezbollah, this has less to do with Rifi than with the ongoing battle between Hezbollah and Hariri (and their regional patrons) over the control of Lebanon’s security and intelligence agencies. Hezbollah controls state security and has influence over the military intelligence services. Hariri still commands the loyalty of the internal security services, especially its intelligence branch, which now employs more than 2,300 officers. If Rifi goes, Hezbollah is hoping, it will be able to replace him with one of their own, thus placing all of the country’s strategic levers of power in its own hands.

But Hezbollah is misreading its own position. For one, Hezbollah is on the verge of losing one major regional ally if Bashar al-Assad goes in Syria. Further, a confrontation between Iran and Israel and the United States over the nuclear issue could spell doom for the Shia party. In that respect, it does make some sense for Hezbollah to try to fortify its position in Lebanon by eliminating its opponents. But what the party seems to have neglected is that it can never rule Lebanon alone or with an iron fist, given the country’s sectarian makeup and its inbuilt and enduring checks and balances — nor can any other party, for that matter. The Christian Maronites tried to govern alone in the past, for example, but the attempt led to a 15-year civil war. Hezbollah might be attempting the same now, but it is losing public support as it does so.

For Hezbollah, a more intelligent, though admittedly counterintuitive, play would be to bring Hariri back to government and extend Rifi’s term. This would kill several birds with one stone. With Hariri back, Hezbollah could start the long-term process of reconciling with the Sunnis and nip the spread of Salafism in Lebanon. With those concerns out of the way, it could concentrate more on its first-order priority: resistance of and preparation for possible war with Israel.

Yet such maneuvering does not seem in the offing. When Mikati threatened to resign this month, this time over Rifi, Hezbollah essentially called his bluff. In addition, although Hezbollah has become more independent from Syria and Iran over the years, it still has to consult with them on certain critical decisions such as sanctioning Hariri’s return. Although Tehran might entertain such a scenario because it would not really hurt Iranian interests in Lebanon, Damascus would categorically reject it, since it sees Hariri as being in the same league as the rebels in its own country.

For now, then, Hezbollah’s hands seem tied. But as the country loses its balance, the party might end up with no choice but to impose its domestic preferences on its backers, including seeking a compromise with Hariri. Part of Iran and Syria’s strategic axis or not, Hezbollah’s mere existence is at stake.In Lebanon, governments and prime ministers come and go, but Mikati’s departure signals a sad end to what was a worthwhile political experiment in moderate centrist politics. Had Mikati succeeded, his effort could have been emulated across the Middle East. With his failure, though, Lebanon’s fault lines will continue to deepen — and absent necessary Sunni-Shia reconciliation, the country could slide into another civil war.

Foreign Affairs

* BILAL Y. SAAB is executive director and head of research of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA) North America.

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32 responses to “Why Lebanon’s PM Mikati Resigned?”

  1. JS_Bach Avatar

    I was really liking this article until this:

    The Christian Maronites tried to govern alone in the past, for example, but the attempt led to a 15-year civil war.

    Huh?! Seriously dude? THAT led to the 15-year civil war? Not Arafat’s invasion of Lebanon. Not Israel’s invasion of Arafat in Lebanon. Not … Not … Not …

    I could be delusional, but as far as I know, Lebanon’s so-called “golden years” were exactly when the Christian Maronites governed the country. Every sect in Lebanon from Shiites to Druze to Sunnis to this day refers to those very years with painful nostalgia as the “golden years”. I don’t presume THAT’s what led to the civil war, buddy.

    The ONLY way any country can be governed effectively is when, and only when, a uniform party is in power. Be that Maronites or Sunnis or Left or Right or XYZ or Pajama Party or whatever you name it. All of this BS about “consensus” and “unity governments” are words from the mouths of the ignorants and belong in Alice’s Wonderland no less.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      American ‘think-tank’ stuff … probably badly-worded as Americans are wont to do … the place was running reasonably well under the Maronites (who were/are NOT all the Christians), and what he means is that ‘some’ (Pal refugees, etc.) didn’t like that much … so it was a ‘reason’ of sorts to push out the Maronites and screw up the country by Arafat and later followers (trying to take over Lebanon) … and in that sense it was a ‘Maronite-time’ which prompted the war.
      I don’t think he’s saying that no-one else could live with the Maronites in charge. I hope.
      But … perhaps he’s a Republican. 😉

      1. JS_Bach Avatar

        But 5th, haven’t you just made my point? What is it in the Palestinians’ business whether a sole proprietorship is ruling Lebanon or not? Were it not for the Palestos invading Lebanon, and followed by Israel, the country was NOT heading to an internal civil war in and of itself, whichever uniform entity happened to be ruling, be that the Maronites or Charlie’s Angels.

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Agree … I was extrapolating … 🙂
          Although I have long thought that anyone born in the country should be a citizen of the country … FIRST ! And maybe some of ‘Lebanon-think’ on that has been wrong over 40 years, but all-sects generally went along with it.
          Of course, that ‘Pals’ did not WANT to become citizens is THEIR fault. 3rd generations have no country other than Lebanon to ‘return’ to – but that’s beyond the point you make about the misleading lines.
          Wonder where BILAL Y. SAAB went to school.

  2. JS_Bach Avatar

    I was really liking this article until this:

    The Christian Maronites tried to govern alone in the past, for example, but the attempt led to a 15-year civil war.

    Huh?! Seriously dude? THAT led to the 15-year civil war? Not Arafat’s invasion of Lebanon. Not Israel’s invasion of Arafat in Lebanon. Not … Not … Not …

    I could be delusional, but as far as I know, Lebanon’s so-called “golden years” were exactly when the Christian Maronites governed the country. Every sect in Lebanon from Shiites to Druze to Sunnis to this day refers to those very years with painful nostalgia as the “golden years”. I don’t presume THAT’s what led to the civil war, buddy.

    The ONLY way any country can be governed effectively is when, and only when, a uniform party is in power. Be that Maronites or Sunnis or Left or Right or XYZ or Pajama Party or whatever you name it. All of this BS about “consensus” and “unity governments” are words from the mouths of the ignorants and belong in Alice’s Wonderland no less.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      American ‘think-tank’ stuff … probably badly-worded as Americans are wont to do … the place was running reasonably well under the Maronites (who were/are NOT all the Christians), and what he means is that ‘some’ (Pal refugees, etc.) didn’t like that much … so it was a ‘reason’ of sorts to push out the Maronites and screw up the country by Arafat and later followers (trying to take over Lebanon) … and in that sense it was a ‘Maronite-time’ which prompted the war.
      I don’t think he’s saying that no-one else could live with the Maronites in charge. I hope.
      But … perhaps he’s a Republican. 😉

      1. JS_Bach Avatar

        But 5th, haven’t you just made my point? What is it in the Palestinians’ business whether a sole proprietorship is ruling Lebanon or not? Were it not for the Palestos invading Lebanon, and followed by Israel, the country was NOT heading to an internal civil war in and of itself, whichever uniform entity happened to be ruling, be that the Maronites or Charlie’s Angels.

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Agree … I was extrapolating … 🙂
          Although I have long thought that anyone born in the country should be a citizen of the country … FIRST ! And maybe some of ‘Lebanon-think’ on that has been wrong over 40 years, but all-sects generally went along with it.
          Of course, that ‘Pals’ did not WANT to become citizens is THEIR fault. 3rd generations have no country other than Lebanon to ‘return’ to – but that’s beyond the point you make about the misleading lines.
          Wonder where BILAL Y. SAAB went to school.

  3. Hannibal Avatar

    Mr. Saab,

    I hope you are reading this,,, INEGMA Really? Naming does not give you legitimacy to make such statements which most likely you copied from some other historical misinformed sources.
    “The Christian Maronites tried to govern alone in the past, for example, but the attempt led to a 15-year civil war.”

    First The Maronites did govern but not alone because the country had a balanced structure albeit it was only abused during the Shehab years.
    Second it was always our moslem brethren who looked beyond the borders of Lebanon for their identity where they saw themselves within a “pan-Arab” before a Lebanese realm and others within a pan-Syrian fertile crescent formula rather than a Lebanese and that created the schism in Lebanon. Add to that a misguided Palestinian leadership roaming in a sovereign country at will with full weaponry and you create a volcano.
    It saddens me that nobody mentions black september but the Lebanese civil war is always mentioned because there is the Maronite element in it.
    Were the Shiites slaughtering Palestinians in West Beirut a Maronite war? Was the Syrian hegemony over Lebanon a Maronite war?
    The Shiites were the lesser dogs since Modern Lebanon inception. Who could blame them for doing what they are doing. One day their might will fall and another sect will rise again. I hope they will be the wise ones and enter the history that they were the only sect that broke the cycle of stupidity and brought us all to the table to rid us of this cancer called sectarianism.
    History fact: The Maronites stopped the Turks from destroying the Arabic language as the language of the land during the ottoman rule when Arabic was banned. Maronite Monks ran clandestine operations deep in the mountains and kept printing and educating in Arabic.

  4. José Jalapeño Avatar
    José Jalapeño

    Mr. Saab,

    I hope you are reading this,,, INEGMA Really? Naming does not give you legitimacy to make such statements which most likely you copied from some other historical misinformed sources.
    “The Christian Maronites tried to govern alone in the past, for example, but the attempt led to a 15-year civil war.”

    First The Maronites did govern but not alone because the country had a balanced structure albeit it was only abused during the Shehab years.
    Second it was always our moslem brethren who looked beyond the borders of Lebanon for their identity where they saw themselves within a “pan-Arab” before a Lebanese realm and others within a pan-Syrian fertile crescent formula rather than a Lebanese and that created the schism in Lebanon. Add to that a misguided Palestinian leadership roaming in a sovereign country at will with full weaponry and you create a volcano.
    It saddens me that nobody mentions black september but the Lebanese civil war is always mentioned because there is the Maronite element in it.
    Were the Shiites slaughtering Palestinians in West Beirut a Maronite war? Was the Syrian hegemony over Lebanon a Maronite war?
    The Shiites were the lesser dogs since Modern Lebanon inception. Who could blame them for doing what they are doing. One day their might will fall and another sect will rise again. I hope they will be the wise ones and enter the history that they were the only sect that broke the cycle of stupidity and brought us all to the table to rid us of this cancer called sectarianism.
    History fact: The Maronites stopped the Turks from destroying the Arabic language as the language of the land during the ottoman rule when Arabic was banned. Maronite Monks ran clandestine operations deep in the mountains and kept printing and educating in Arabic.

  5. Prophettttt Avatar
    Prophettttt

    Mr.Saab offered nothing we have not read or heard before.I thought researchers are supposed to perform independent and objective investigations to establish facts and produce new knowledge . But This “researcher” has presented a set of very simplistic and well circulated opinions that are neither new ,nor convincing. Researchers are not necessarily expert analysts .
    It’s Just a boring page of words and sentences put together . Much more boring than what we post.At least with us, we behave like babies who keep repeating words they can pronounce,and keep amusing themselves.lol
    I thought only us, commentators are entitled to repeat ourselves,and we’re even getting bored of hearing ourselves over and over again .lol

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Yah … after all we try to ‘give’ them in rational thought, it’s ignored largely – and for years!!
      Maybe better to stick to discussions on ‘bug recipes’, ‘wine’, and ‘scotch’. Probably more relevant to a ‘happy survival’ anyway. Education CAN be wonderful. 😉
      Although it doesn’t say SAAB was the researcher. Only that he is ‘executive director’ …. directing executives I guess … and we ALL know how much ‘bosses’ really know. 😉

      1. Prophettttt Avatar
        Prophettttt

        His profile does say that He is an executive director of” research”,which means He is one who leads others , who do research.
        Keep your food recipes to yourself, we’ll stick with wine, scotch and women,lol

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          🙂

  6. Prophettttt Avatar
    Prophettttt

    Mr.Saab offered nothing we have not read or heard before.I thought researchers are supposed to perform independent and objective investigations to establish facts and produce new knowledge . But This “researcher” has presented a set of very simplistic and well circulated opinions that are neither new ,nor convincing.
    It’s Just a boring page of words and sentences put together . Much more boring than what we post.At least with us, we behave like babies who keep repeating words they can pronounce,and keep amusing themselves.lol
    I thought only us, commentators are entitled to repeat ourselves,and we’re getting bored of hearing it over and over again .lol

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Yah … after all we try to ‘give’ them in rational thought, it’s ignored largely – and for years!!
      Maybe better to stick to discussions on ‘bug recipes’, ‘wine’, and ‘scotch’. Probably more relevant to a ‘happy survival’ anyway. Education CAN be wonderful. 😉

      1. Prophettttt Avatar
        Prophettttt

        His profile does say that He is a executive directer of research,which mean He is one who leads others.
        Keep your food recipes to yourself, we’ll stick with wine, scotch and women,lol

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          🙂

  7. libnan1 Avatar

    Mr Bilal, Thanks for stating the obvious as far as the Mikati resignation. I frankly don’t put too much credibility in your institute since it’s past analysis were failures.
    You neglected to state the importance of the Christians in the formation of modern, Christians were instrumental in putting Lebanon on the map before the so called civil war that was inspired by our Sunni fellow Lebanese and implemented by the PLO. They failed in every aspect of governing after the civil war. As the Christian turn will come to prove to you and the rest of the world that our General AOUN will govern with an iron fist. He will return Lebanon prosperous, dynamic country for all Lebanese.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Oh great. The ‘Iron Fist’ again …. 🙁

    2. Prophettttt Avatar
      Prophettttt

      No Iron fist,please.If you insist on Iron fist, I won’t attend your may BBQ,lol

  8. libnan1 Avatar

    Mr Bilal, Thanks for stating the obvious as far as the Mikati resignation. I frankly don’t put too much credibility in your institute since it’s past analysis were failures.
    You neglected to state the importance of the Christians in the formation of modern, Christians were instrumental in putting Lebanon on the map before the so called civil war that was inspired by our Sunni fellow Lebanese and implemented by the PLO. They failed in every aspect of governing after the civil war. As the Christian turn will come to prove to you and the rest of the world that our General AOUN will govern with an iron fist. He will return Lebanon prosperous, dynamic country for all Lebanese.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Oh great. The ‘Iron Fist’ again …. 🙁

    2. Prophettttt Avatar
      Prophettttt

      No Iron fist,please.If you insist on Iron fist, I won’t attend your may BBQ,lol

  9. This article is so far detached from reality that i question the editors for even including it in this blogg. i dont personally have much fondness for think tanks because to me besides them being financed by the haliburtons or carlyse groups their role is not so much to think but rather find areas and parts of the world that can be conquered both economically and politically to the better of their financier…. getting back to the article for you to suggest that the 15 year civil war went on because the maronites wanted power is both ill-informed and an insult….had it not been for the palestinians and their puppet arafat lebanon would be 10 fold of what dubai is now. we were living in peace and we had the normal socio economic situation that almost all countries have. it wasnt only the maronites that suffered under the palestinians but the druze and shiites too. basically the israelis with agreance and support from the americans and west wanted to dump the palestinians in lebanon and seal them off. the palestinians my friend were supported by their sunni bretheren in lebanon and thats what caused the fiasco. arafat had or sorry i should say was given more money ( from the gulf states)than is needed to probably feed africa at the time and he went through on his merry way destabilising and destroying lebanon. now without going to far into detail and forgive me if i have missed alot but compare that to whats happening in syria ( im not speaking here on behalf of anyone or defending anyone im purely looking from out in which is what i think a think tank or analyst should do)??? same thing happening…gulf states and west funding individuals and groups and organisations to do what they are doing now….you yourself even admitted in a bbc interview in may 2011 that you think most of the deaths have been caused by the rebels. is syria really a fight for freedom? if it is for freedom how then has it become a sectarian war? assad’s wife is a sunni is she not? his government is mixed is it not? syrian passports and papers do not state a persons religion but merely arab republic of syria? yet the tragedy is that the rebels have probably killed more sunnis than any other sect??? is syria really about democracy or breaking it away from iran and hzb? i bet my life that if assad turned around tommorrow and said he is finished with iran and hzb the world will let him do what he wants? the usa government has a history in supporting dictators especially in the middle east does it not? in 2009 obama was in egypt speaking to the arab and muslim world about democracy and then in 2011 mubarak was gone? so before 2009 mubarak was ok and then all of a sudden he was no good? it seems to me democracy does not exist because how do explain his 2009 speech to the arab world when at the same time countries like saudia arabia, bahrain,qatar,pakistan ,egypt and yemen were considered “moderate”.? i mean how far detached from reality must one be when the emir of qatar gets up and makes a speech about democracy when he himself overthrew his own father via a coup with support from the usa ( that was created at some think tank i bet ) and yet qatar has no semblance of government or democracy it is purely run by the monarchy. whats the difference with whats happening in syria and say bahrain or saudia arabia? why has syria been left to become what it has? why dont the americans and nato go in if hes so bad like they did in libya? il tell you why billy boy….because whats happening in syria is not about the people….its purely about breaking the so called axis between syria hzb and iran…we have a syrian conflict and all we hear in the media is about iran and hzb….i think use give them too much credit….its the russians and chinese propping him up….and supporting him…for gods sake the russians have warships docked their….back to mikati now….this is the 3rd time hes resigned…the other 2 times it was rejected…ask yourself why this time his resignation was accepted so easily and quickly not by just m8 but by the president as well? regarding the STL its been the biggest flop since god knows what…first it was the syrians…then hariri went there kissed and made up….then aunty clinton cracked the whip at hariri and he changed his mind…then it turned to the hzb…now in your article you say the hzb was implicated but in actual fact and hariri even said this as did the stl that it was 6 members implicated but not the hzb? so you tell us what that is supposed to mean….? in the meantime weve had i dont know how many different judges and prosecutors come and go? regarding rifi why is it a big deal? if his time is up then its up why should it be renewed? now lets analyse rifi’s record….( again i am only analysing not giving opinions just asking the questions that noone seems to ask for some reason?) as intelligence chief is it not his role to protect these people that were all assassinated? he couldnt protect hassan our head of intelligence? wisam eid who by the way at he time of his death was travelling alone and had in his possesssion important documentation and information? what about gmayell? as a minister shouldn’t he have been given proper protection as a minister? assassinated in broad daylight in his hometown? the finger points at hzb? ok so how do you explain francois elhaj being assassinated? he was pro hzb was he not? the israelis tried to kill him when they were occupying lebanon? how do you explain ziad baroud resigning? was not after a stand off between rifi and the army? what about when rifi was caught forging exams for certain cadets that he wanted to pass? are these points not relevant for a think tank to discuss? regarding ahriri are we led to believe that lebanon cannot function unless hariri is pm? let me ask you this bilal if hariri was in america or europe would anyone take him seriously as a politician? as pm he had his chance. as pm he spent more days outside of lebanon than inside….your article states hzb letting him back to lebanon?? noone has told him he cant come back he has chosen to stay outside because he supposedly fears for his life but he has the time with all thats happening to go skiing in the french alpes? finally regarding salafism are you saying hariri needs to come back to curtail it? HES THE ONE FUNDING IT ALONG WITH THE GULF STATES…hes a spoilt bratt…he even said to nasrallah give me back the pm seat and i will cancel the STL….if salafism has increased its because the ruling sunni elite want even more power and in the process have neglected their people. I think i have given you enough things to think about in your think tank? your job is to analyze and give factual evidence…let us bloggers give our opinions….

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Wow Dateam. Although I wish you would use capitals to start a sentence – Excellent thinking. 🙂
      And no-one would say ‘long-winded’ … I’d put three thumbs up if i could. There ARE many questions.
      The original idea of ‘Think Tanks’ was putting people together to find a way to accomplish something specific … which is why they can’t think when they attempt to analyse. We can assume there are opposing ‘think-tanks’ when it comes to politics … and no-one thought we would notice. 🙂

    2. IraniAngel Avatar
      IraniAngel

      only 10 fold of dubai??? thats an insult to lebanon and a overestimation of dubai.. lets just face it dubai and all other assrab persian gulf countries would be like iraq, jordan, yemen, sudan, somalia ect. without the oil let alone the major presence of iraniangel businesses in the country. trade between uae and irAngel tripled to $12 billion from 2005 to 2009. uae’s exports to irAngel are four times greater than its imports from irAngel. and yet what do the assrabs down there do?? they go along with the ameriCANCER led sanctions on irAngel which by the way eventually will hurt the united assrabs emirates the most. if i was in charge in irAngel i would definitly start sanctioning that crappy sandbox

  10. This article is so far detached from reality that i question the editors for even including it in this blogg. i dont personally have much fondness for think tanks because to me besides them being financed by the haliburtons or carlyse groups their role is not so much to think but rather find areas and parts of the world that can be conquered both economically and politically to the better of their financier…. getting back to the article for you to suggest that the 15 year civil war went on because the maronites wanted power is both ill-informed and an insult….had it not been for the palestinians and their puppet arafat lebanon would be 10 fold of what dubai is now. we were living in peace and we had the normal socio economic situation that almost all countries have. it wasnt only the maronites that suffered under the palestinians but the druze and shiites too. basically the israelis with agreance and support from the americans and west wanted to dump the palestinians in lebanon and seal them off. the palestinians my friend were supported by their sunni bretheren in lebanon and thats what caused the fiasco. arafat had or sorry i should say was given more money ( from the gulf states)than is needed to probably feed africa at the time and he went through on his merry way destabilising and destroying lebanon. now without going to far into detail and forgive me if i have missed alot but compare that to whats happening in syria ( im not speaking here on behalf of anyone or defending anyone im purely looking from out in which is what i think a think tank or analyst should do)??? same thing happening…gulf states and west funding individuals and groups and organisations to do what they are doing now….you yourself even admitted in a bbc interview in may 2011 that you think most of the deaths have been caused by the rebels. is syria really a fight for freedom? if it is for freedom how then has it become a sectarian war? assad’s wife is a sunni is she not? his government is mixed is it not? syrian passports and papers do not state a persons religion but merely arab republic of syria? yet the tragedy is that the rebels have probably killed more sunnis than any other sect??? is syria really about democracy or breaking it away from iran and hzb? i bet my life that if assad turned around tommorrow and said he is finished with iran and hzb the world will let him do what he wants? the usa government has a history in supporting dictators especially in the middle east does it not? in 2009 obama was in egypt speaking to the arab and muslim world about democracy and then in 2011 mubarak was gone? so before 2009 mubarak was ok and then all of a sudden he was no good? it seems to me democracy does not exist because how do explain his 2009 speech to the arab world when at the same time countries like saudia arabia, bahrain,qatar,pakistan ,egypt and yemen were considered “moderate”.? i mean how far detached from reality must one be when the emir of qatar gets up and makes a speech about democracy when he himself overthrew his own father via a coup with support from the usa ( that was created at some think tank i bet ) and yet qatar has no semblance of government or democracy it is purely run by the monarchy. whats the difference with whats happening in syria and say bahrain or saudia arabia? why has syria been left to become what it has? why dont the americans and nato go in if hes so bad like they did in libya? il tell you why billy boy….because whats happening in syria is not about the people….its purely about breaking the so called axis between syria hzb and iran…we have a syrian conflict and all we hear in the media is about iran and hzb….i think use give them too much credit….its the russians and chinese propping him up….and supporting him…for gods sake the russians have warships docked their….back to mikati now….this is the 3rd time hes resigned…the other 2 times it was rejected…ask yourself why this time his resignation was accepted so easily and quickly not by just m8 but by the president as well? regarding the STL its been the biggest flop since god knows what…first it was the syrians…then hariri went there kissed and made up….then aunty clinton cracked the whip at hariri and he changed his mind…then it turned to the hzb…now in your article you say the hzb was implicated but in actual fact and hariri even said this as did the stl that it was 6 members implicated but not the hzb? so you tell us what that is supposed to mean….? in the meantime weve had i dont know how many different judges and prosecutors come and go? regarding rifi why is it a big deal? if his time is up then its up why should it be renewed? now lets analyse rifi’s record….( again i am only analysing not giving opinions just asking the questions that noone seems to ask for some reason?) as intelligence chief is it not his role to protect these people that were all assassinated? he couldnt protect hassan our head of intelligence? wisam eid who by the way at he time of his death was travelling alone and had in his possesssion important documentation and information? what about gmayell? as a minister shouldn’t he have been given proper protection as a minister? assassinated in broad daylight in his hometown? the finger points at hzb? ok so how do you explain francois elhaj being assassinated? he was pro hzb was he not? the israelis tried to kill him when they were occupying lebanon? how do you explain ziad baroud resigning? was not after a stand off between rifi and the army? what about when rifi was caught forging exams for certain cadets that he wanted to pass? are these points not relevant for a think tank to discuss? regarding ahriri are we led to believe that lebanon cannot function unless hariri is pm? let me ask you this bilal if hariri was in america or europe would anyone take him seriously as a politician? as pm he had his chance. as pm he spent more days outside of lebanon than inside….your article states hzb letting him back to lebanon?? noone has told him he cant come back he has chosen to stay outside because he supposedly fears for his life but he has the time with all thats happening to go skiing in the french alpes? finally regarding salafism are you saying hariri needs to come back to curtail it? HES THE ONE FUNDING IT ALONG WITH THE GULF STATES…hes a spoilt bratt…he even said to nasrallah give me back the pm seat and i will cancel the STL….if salafism has increased its because the ruling sunni elite want even more power and in the process have neglected their people. I think i have given you enough things to think about in your think tank? your job is to analyze and give factual evidence…let us bloggers give our opinions….

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Wow Dateam. Although I wish you would use capitals to start a sentence – Excellent thinking. 🙂
      And no-one would say ‘long-winded’ … I’d put three thumbs up if i could. There ARE many questions.
      The original idea of ‘Think Tanks’ was putting people together to find a way to accomplish something specific … which is why they can’t think when they attempt to analyse. We can assume there are opposing ‘think-tanks’ when it comes to politics … and no-one thought we would notice. 🙂

    2. IraniAngel Avatar
      IraniAngel

      only 10 fold of dubai??? thats an insult to lebanon and a overestimation of dubai.. lets just face it dubai and all other assrab persian gulf countries would be like iraq, jordan, yemen, sudan, somalia ect. without the oil let alone the major presence of iraniangel businesses in the country. trade between uae and irAngel tripled to $12 billion from 2005 to 2009. uae’s exports to irAngel are four times greater than its imports from irAngel. and yet what do the assrabs down there do?? they go along with the ameriCANCER led sanctions on irAngel which by the way eventually will hurt the united assrabs emirates the most. if i was in charge in irAngel i would definitly start sanctioning that crappy sandbox

  11. “Had Mikati succeeded, his effort could have been emulated across the Middle East”. In my opinion the probability of Mikati’s success was at best negligible considering as you say ” Hezbollah, beiong the dominant party in Lebanon’s politics” thanks to Iran.
    “”

  12. “Had Mikati succeeded, his effort could have been emulated across the Middle East”. In my opinion the probability of Mikati’s success was at best negligible considering as you say ” Hezbollah, beiong the dominant party in Lebanon’s politics” thanks to Iran.
    “”

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