Monday, October 12, 2009

Synchronized Movements

The Hariris never liked Michel Aoun, and the feeling is pretty much mutual.

Back in Hariri the First days, the "Syrians" made sure the exiled General stayed as far away as possible from the grand reconstruction plan. Hariri the Second does not have the benefit if the "Syrians"...yet. So he has had to deal directly with Aoun. He's had to sit and hear the General's demands, but to date he has never listened to any of them except for one which we'll get to later.

Michel Aoun on the other hand is vocal about the role he wants to play in the next National Unity government. Too vocal, in fact, if you consider that it's really falling on deaf ears. Then again if you look at the menial demands of this once "revolutionary" Change and Reform man, you have to beg him to stop.

The permanent caretaker government loves the status quo of operating aimlessly. Sure all governments in the history of this state do that, but this one actually has carte blanche to do so. They don't even have to pretend to meet. No decisions have to be taken.

But just when you think you've got everything figured out, something happens that defies all logic. Aoun's wish becomes Hariri's command and the Government jumps into action like it has never jumped before.

Naher El Bared can work miracles. It's destruction turned Michel Suleiman into a Lebanese national hero and catapulted him into the Presidency. Now it's reconstruction is bringing together opposite forces that have never met.

See the issue started when some ruins were discovered at the site of the refugee camp that was destroyed by the Lebanese Army in 2007. All of a sudden the long neglected piece of real estate became indispensable for the economy, security, and national unity. Michel Aoun rushed to the State Shura Council which issued a non-binding freeze on the reconstruction project which was already very slow to take off in the first place. Meanwhile approximately 40,000 residents enter their 3rd winter without a home. The Hariris which were already running out of excuses to stall jumped at the opportunity and bound the unbinding resolution. Not only do they get to stop the reconstruction, they also get to blame their arch-rival for it. It was too easy. And there's where we stand today.

Meanwhile Aoun's concern for historic ruins fades when he meets Saad Hariri. See Saad Hariri lives in what Saatchi and Saatchi dubbed Beit El Wasat or the Middle House. Cute.. a humble little abode.. like the song says.. Our house in the middle of our street. Of course, a more apt name would be Bilaat Solidere, or Solidere's Royal Court. Just to remind the General, Hariri's Solidere Royal Court and its surrounding neighborhood was built over not only ancient ruins, but also properties of living people...Some who were killed when their own roof was brought down on them because they were impeding "reconstruction."

It's been two and a half years since the homes of Naher El Bared were destroyed. Two and a half years of promises of reconstruction but nothing else.. Not only does no one on the Lebanese political scene care (no one includes Hezbollah and other Resistance factions); they actually unite over not caring.

For more Info visit My House is in El Bared.