Lebanese media agree on one thing only: it looks bad

Despite the severity of the situation, no newspapers came out in Lebanon today because Thursday was Independence Day. Menassat.com contacted some of the country's leading opinion writers to find out what they would have written.
By Menassat.com Staff
Lebanese politics, 23 Nov 2007. ©Caroline Poiron / arabimages.com
Walid Jumblatt arrives at parliament Friday for a vote that was not to be. © Caroline Poiron / arabimages.com

'I don’t fear the vacuum; we’ve been living it for two years' (Gabi Nasr, columnist for L’Orient-Le Jour)

Gaby Nasr made no attempt to hide his pessimism about the political situation when we reached him yesterday.

"There is no difference if we, Lebanese, are going to live a constitutional vacuum or not. We’ve been living it for a long time. The present President of the Republic is nothing but a Muppet. At least if a constitutional vacuum is to happen today, it would be an official one. Our country could not fall much deeper. We've reached rock bottom. I swear, if we keep digging ourselves into a hole like this, we’re going to find oil soon! Frankly, we don’t understand a damn thing anymore!”
'Consensus at any cost' (George Nassif, columnist and political analyst at the daily newspaper An-Nahar)
"If I had to write today’s column, I’d invite all Lebanese parties to compromise, at any cost. The ways and means are not important. What remains essential is to be able to find an agreement between us.

"Even though we have entered a transition phase, I say no to civil war. It would be the most dangerous thing that could happen to the country. And we would have to pay a very heavy price.

"Making a concession today is not admitting defeat. There is still time to reach a settelement. I am with the position taken by Walid Jumblatt, yesterday. To reach out today for agreement is what will save Lebanon". 
'In invite all our leaders to leave the country for good' (Sarkis Abu Zeid, editor in chief of Al Watan)
"Politicians today come up with solutions and opinions that are impossible to achieve, since the real decision is not in their hands. If I had to write something, I would simply say that I really don’t know what is going to happen. It's just another mysterious day in the political life in Lebanon.

"In a few words, I invite all our leaders to leave the country  for good!

"The consensus called for by some people is the biggest lie of all. It is only when  Syria and the United States reach an agreement that we can talk about any kind of consensus in Lebanon. Everything depends on the outcome of the Annapolis meeting. Our politicians are just small players in this big game. Nobody knows what will be the final decision."

As for the possibility of the outbreak of a civil war, Abu Zeid said, "No, there is no way that Lebanon is going to live another civil war, because there is no plan for a regional one. That will not prevent some incidents from occuring. But these will be stopped. What is happening is that all sides are trying to impose what we call the 'balance of terror'." 

© Caroline Poiron / arabimages.com


Many views and the result remains the same: today, there won’t be any new president for the Lebanese people.

Is this the end of the country and the end of the nation?

Are war, chaos and the constitutional vacuum the best things that await Lebanon? 

Or is the real decision coming from outside the borders (even from overseas, this time), and will we have to wait the Annapolis conference to find out?
There is no point really in going over the different scenarios that are being made up the ruin the country in the various powerhouses. We would only end up with contrasting opinions.
What is being ignored, as usual, is the opinion of the people. They are the ones who are paying the price of their leaders’ disagreements.

The Lebanese people have suffered enough from the continuous bickering in the political arena, and their dreams of a better tomorrow are cut short over and over again by the politicians’ narrow interests.

And what brings these people together is simply one word: “khallas" (enough).