Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Check your intelligence at the door

Sometimes, people who read this blog complain that it is too cynical of leader X. Especially coming from a foreigner, they feel the criticism is unjust and does not take into consideration the difficult times the country is in. Usually, this is followed by a compliment on that humorous article of leader Y…sigh

To a certain extent, I can understand the complaints. Yet, in many cases, the criticism is quite selective: don’t you dare talk negative about X, but go ahead and make fun of Y. What is this poor blogger to do?

Well, at a minimum this blog could try to balance things out. Either you have a critical stance towards no one, or to everyone. This carries the danger of angering every single reader, but somehow I hope that the visitors who come here are a bit more open minded than the typical hard core supporter of leader X or Y.

In order to readjust the scales that might have tipped towards March 14 in the past, here are two articles I couldn’t help but noticing. The first is the recent statement of the Maronite patriarch who warns against not holding the presidential elections on time. The alternative could be war and obviously he is concerned about this possibility. So far, so good.

But then he continues and says that the March 14 politicians should hold the elections as per the Constitution, which he interprets as first holding a session whereby the new president is only elected if he gets two-third of the votes. If this does not result in a winner, then the next round would require only a simply majority. In his words: "But if a half-plus-one (vote) was adopted in the first electoral session, this is very dangerous," Sfeir cautioned. "Because the other camp could claim this to be a violation of the Constitution which would prompt them to respond similarly." first we have a symbolic round of voting with the 2/3 requirement and we all know this will result in nothing. Once we have completed all the figures de manège we then would move on to what the electoral session is really about: a vote with a simple majority.

Is anyone in the March 14 camp buying this logic? Would anyone really think the Opposition wouldn’t see through this blatant attempt of form over substance and thus could be fooled into attending the presidential elections against their wills?

Another example of this sort of dumb-dumber-dumbest thinking is the recent press conference from the camp of Walid Jumblatt, namely that MP Skaff has to prove he didn’t sell land to Iran. Obviously, this is a big concern since the Druze are afraid a significant part of their lands is being bought up by straw men of Iran. The underlying fear is that Hezbollah is trying to establish a country within a country.

This fear is quite understandable, but the demand put on Skaff to prove his innocence is not. If Jumblatt can prove it, let him prove it. If not, let him simply keep silent. People, even your enemies are still innocent until proven guilty.

Besides, even if proven true, it would be highly unlikely that Skaff is violating any Lebanese law, so why attack him like this? And why not attack all his fellow Druze who have already sold their land (some would add ‘and their soul’) to supposedly Iran?

People who don’t know me might think I get really upset or even angry about the daily stupidities happening in Lebanon. Luckily, that’s not true. In fact, I find them amazingly comical and I am comforted that most of my Lebanese friends laugh at least as hard as I do every time sound bytes like this hit the news.


nicolien said...

indeed a big laugh... followed by a sigh and a shake of the head :)