Monday, September 11, 2006

The Alchemist Ibrahim Al-Amin

The Alchemist Ibrahim Al-Amin has found the philosopher’s stone of Lebanese politics. In his column in today’s daily Al-Akhbar, Al-Amin has discovered the plot the 14th of March Coalition and holder of Parliamentary majority are engineering to maintain their control of Lebanon’s political scene. And the main plotter is Walid Jumblat, the charlatan of Lebanon’s politics.

According to Al-Amin, Jumblat is drawing vicious plans and giving orders left and right to strengthen his grip of the post-Syrian political scene. The plot goes like this:

Jumblat maintains his alliance with Saad Hariri, head of the Sunni Future Movement and majority leader and together they pave the way for the ‘international community’ and the UN in peacekeeping South Lebanon. The 14th of March Coalition keeps their discussion with the head of the Maronite Church, Cardinal Sfeir, to support the Coalition’s policy against Hizbollah and its Christian allies, namely Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement. The 14th of March Coalition will also support Aoun’s rival, Samir Jaejae to maintain a power base among the Maronite community. The Coalition will also back Nabih Berri, Speaker of Parliament and head of Shiite Amal Movement, in gaining some ground among the Shiite community vis-à-vis Hezbollah.

Am I impressed by Al-Amin’s unearthing of this 'plot'? Not at all.

Al-Amin has probably missed the basics of political processes and power-sharing in democracies or quasi-democracies. The tenets of political practices in democratic or quasi-democratic polities are ‘decision-making’, ‘agenda-setting’, ‘preference-shaping’. And this is politics 101.

Al-Amin is probably used to other types of political processes. The ones that involve a coalition between the One-Party, the Dictator’s family and the Intelligence Apparatus. Until Al-Amin becomes critical of the one-party, one-family, one-general rule; and until he gets used to the democratic process his philosopher’s stone is cracked.

Meantime Harry Potter looks more readable.


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