Sunday, June 05, 2005

President Precedent

You know how the rhyme goes: Humpty dumpty sat on a wall...

Our own Humpty seems to be teetering.

After the demands for Lahoud's resignation fell silent in the aftermath of Hariri's murder, they were once more ignited following the murder this week of Samir Kassir, journalist and political reform activist.

While many political pundits and fellow bloggers have dissected this demand to bits (something I prefer not to indulge in for the sake of sanity) I was nevertheless impressed by Humpty's reaction to all this, or rather the lack thereof. Aoun was already doing a good job of derailing it with so much counter accusation and below-the-belt blows that it seemed the president thought he could just sit back and watch the show. He even said he would be providing all necessary security measures to protect the planned march on to the Presidential Palace at Baabda on Monday.

But this morning, and after 2 days of the announcement (what's with the lag?!), he decides to respond by saying that his term extension was constitutional, he's not going anywhere, and that he will soon expose all his accusers as being partners in the corruption they are now protesting. The fact that this sounds self-incriminating must have not occurred to him.

The Maronite Patriarch gave the most telling view of this mess this morning in his Sunday sermon (I don't condone religious figures interfering in politics but this is his opinion and his right). He practically showed his resolve for seeing this president out by saying that he who waits 30 years can endure a few additional weeks. His intentional ambiguity over 'whom' is waiting for 'what' is sending a clear message.

He has no desire in prolonging this charade any longer, but he is concerned it seems that any forced ousting of a president would set an unfavorable precedent for the future and is not warranted given the imminent changes ahead. This has calmed the fears of the opposition calling for the resignation and - to show that they got the message - the Monday march is now postponed until further notice. It will come, just not now.

So come on. You know the words folks. Sing it with me:

Humpty dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty dumpty had a great fall
All the King's horses
And all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again...


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