Sunday, May 18, 2008

On the Brink or in the Bazaar

Reuters and al-Jazeera report that talks in Doha, Qatar among Lebanese leaders have fasiled to reach any agreement for ending the political crisis in Lebanon. According to al-Jazeera one major disagreement is over proposals concerning the size of electoral districts, particularly in Beirut, with Christians fearing that large sized districts would dilute their representation in Parliament. According to Reuters, the sticking point is Hezbollah's refusal to a compromise proposed by the Qatari hosts that would give Hezbollah 10 ministers in the government cabinet and some say over the appointment of a n eleventh. This would give it close to, but not guaranteed, veto power in the government.

The compromise proposal evidences Hezbollah's strength and indicates how out of touch with reality is the Bush administration in thinking, as Bush's Security Adviser Stephen Hadley puts it, the talks are an opportunity for the Lebanese government to clip Hezbollah's wings.

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