I wanted to write about this ever since I heard former Lebanese PM Fouad Siniora praising Nabih Berri's latest speech. Today, when Bahia Hariri did the same, it became obvious that the Hariri camp will never learn.
Many in the Future Movement are praising the parliament speaker as a "patriotic" leader, slobbering over his words, which supposedly contained "reassuring" messages.
Berri on Friday spoke against sectarian strife, called for "unity", and lavished the Saudi King with praise over his call to establish a center for dialog among sects.
Berri was careful not to come across as too conciliatory in his speech, delivered in commemoration of the disappearance of Imam Moussa Sadr some 34 years ago in Libya. His speech contained the usual nonsense about international conspiracies to divide Syria (another "Sykes-Picot") and destroy that country's "regional role" in safeguarding "resistance" movements.
However, because Berri "did not describe the Syrian revolution as terrorism, and did not say that Bashar Assad is here to stay", Sinioria saw in this a "very bold" position.
The Hariri camp would probably prefer to deal with Berri and Amal over Hizbullah any day, but I was hoping (against hope) that their political advisors had finally learned that positive reinforcement in Lebanese politics is equivalent to being pushovers.
Just look at who got pushed out of the country, and into Twitter. It wasn't Berri or other lackeys feeding the Shia public lessons from a vanished Imam. It was the head of the Hariri establishment himself.
One person said it like it is: former MP and former Amal member, Mohammad Abdel Hamid Baydoun. In an interview with a radio station, he warned March 14 and the Future Movement against getting deceived again by Berri, calling him a "deceptive politician and one of the symbols of the Syrian tutelage over Lebanon and the period during which Hariri was assassinated".
Baydoun reminded March 14 of Berri's accomplishments: shutting down parliament, the May 7 2008 events, and turning against Saad Hariri. He accused Berri's Amal and Hizbullah of tarnishing the image of the Shia community in the Arab world after they tied the fate of Lebanese Shias to that of the Syrian regime, and after they wrecked relations with Sunnis and the Syrian opposition.