Lebanese cabinet flips Assad the bird, endorses UN tribunal for Hariri murder

I fear what we have here is a classic nutrootsian “moral victory.” The cabinet signed off on it, but it won’t go into effect until the Lebanese parliament ratifies it too. And therein lies the problem:

Ministers delayed the start of the meeting by more than an hour as negotiations continued with the pro-Syrian parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri.

But it eventually went ahead without the Hezbollah movement and Mr Berri’s Amal party, after they held their ground over demands for greater government representation for themselves and their allies…

Mr Berri’s backing is essential if the tribunal is to be ratified because only the speaker can call a parliamentary session to vote on the project.

Berri won’t bring it before parliament because he’s a Syrian-stooge traitor. Lebanese president Emile Lahoud could bring it before parliament, but he won’t do it either. Why? Because he’s an even bigger Syrian-stooge traitor than Berri is. Nor does the cabinet have much to offer by way of a bargain: Nasrallah wants greater representation in the government, but he’s an Iranian-stooge traitor; any deal to expand his and Hezbollah’s influence would play right into Assad’s hands.

Same problem as Iraq, really. One faction is loyal to the state, others are loyal to their gang, tribe, sect, or foreign sponsor. Like the DIA said last week in diagnosing Baghdad’s pathologies:

“Iraqi nationalists, ex-Baathists, former military, angry Sunni, Jihadists, foreign fighters and al-Qaeda,” who create an “overlapping, complex and multi-polar Sunni insurgent and terrorist environment.” He added that “Shia militias and Shia militants, some Kurdish pesh merga, and extensive criminal activity further contribute to violence, instability and insecurity.”

All different loyalties, all with different motives, and each needs to be re-engineered somehow into loyalty to the state.

So what’s the next move in Lebanon? Confrontation, probably:

Berri appears to have settled into the position that the Tribunal cannot be approved without the presence of the Shia [i.e., Hezbollah] ministers. This will probably mean that he will not even call Parliament into session. This will bring about a confrontation with the March 14th Forces. If the governing coalition attempts to convene the Parliament without Berri’s approval and then strong arm passage of the Tribunal, this would no doubt precipitate a crisis where wholesale resignations by Hizbullah, Amal, and Aoun’s FPM deputies would ensue and totally delegitimze Siniora’s government and March 14th.

That would pit Sunnis and Christians against Shiites at a moment when Hezbollah is planning huge street protests for sometime next week. Which means Iraq isn’t the only country in the region now that’s on the verge of civil war.