Amr Moussa was last seen flying his Damascus woven carpet, looking for that magical solution to end Lebanon’s woes. “Moussa is trying to invent new idea to repair internal Lebanese relations”, headlined al-Hayat. Moussa’s mission was made impossible last week by Syria’s allies in the country, with their varying and contradictory formulas for the future government’s makeup. The Arab League secretary-general, who boasted of Syrian cooperation, found himself trying to reason with the Lebanese political equivalent of a never-ending soap opera: a bratty and self-obsessed bunch of power hungry maniacs who sold their country for a handful of weapons and illusions of grandeur.
Moussa’s magical solution so far seems to consist of dialogue revival. According to al-Hayat, Nabih Berri (who, surprise surprise, came up with the idea) had the audacity to tell Moussa that his presence was not enough to relaunch “dialogue”. Berri wants Arab foreign ministers, including Syria’s, to come to Beirut or else “inter Lebanese dialogue is absolutely impossible”. In other words, bring Syria back through the Arab league and give it the role of referee in its own game. The speaker, who like Hizbullah, was marketing a formula of 10-10-10 for the post-election cabinet, is also saying that dialogue is not possible without a meeting between Hariri and Aoun to precede a wider dialogue. Berri was quoted by al-Hayat as saying that such a meeting, even if unsuccessful, will force March 14 to acknowledge Aoun’s alleged political weight in the Christian street.
Mind you Aoun has his own conditions for dialogue, and formula for the cabinet, which is at odds with his allies’. He wants Suleiman Franhjieh to attend, and 11 ministers for the opposition. Meanwhile Hizbullah wants former prime minister Omar Karami to be included in the talks.
This absurd situation yet again shows the world that Syrian regime has delegated obstruction to its allies. Moussa, by seeking to revive dialogue, has subscribed to the Syrian notion that it’s an internal Lebanese matter. Even Mubarak, who is supposedly pressuring the Assad regime, warned that Arabs will wash their hands of Lebanon if the Arab plan is not implemented. Mubarak made no similar public threats to the Assad regime following their terrorist attacks on Lebanon.
This begs the question, how do you implement a plan that calls for an immediate election of the president by engaging in time buying in the form of dialogue revival?
I may not be privy to what’s happening behind closed doors, and to the so called “pressure” that Arab leaders are allegedly putting on the Assad regime. But it does seem like this Arab effort to elect a Lebanese president is quickly turning into another exercise in futility. When Mubarak and his other friends don’t have the balls to name the real obstructionists, we can rest assured that they will do nothing useful.