Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Dubious Resurrection of the “Cedar Revolution” -1

Posted by worriedlebanese on 15/03/2008

14march-leaders-031908021351.jpgThe “March 14th” coalition commemorated the third anniversary of the “Cedar revolution” equally dubbed the “Beirut Spring”. In a large ceremony organised at the BIEL, a group of minor politicians (Soueid, Jisr, Achkar, Mekattaf, Haddad, Abillama) adressed  an audience comprised of middle level and high level Lebanese politicians and their followers. The commemoration aimed at resurrecting the “March 14th” spirit. Fares Soueid (a former MP who lost his seat in 2005 to the FPM) read the “Spring 2008” Charter. Samir Jisr, Future Movement MP, read out a speech meant to assess the actions of the “March 14th alliance up to now (some journalists called his verbal exercice a courageous act of self-criticism). The other politicians announced the coalition’s programme (conferences and workshops).One can easily be impressed by the Charter’s headlines and the speeches’ main arguments. They are meant to butter up the audience and the Lebanese public in general. The values that are upheld are those that a majority of Lebanese share (or think they share… that’s another story): commitment to liberalism, to pluralism and to republicanism (anti-communalism and the support of a strong centralised state). But how convincing are these headlines? The implementation of these ideas would not only damage the career of most the coalition’s members, but would certainly shock and probably enrage the Lebanese public: most Lebanese are conservative and are wary of individual and collective liberties; most Lebanese are attached to communal politics and clientelism; most Lebanese would rather have a weak state than one that is headed by a leader who belongs to another communal group. 

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