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March 30, 2005
Karami Unable To Form Unity Gov't In Lebanon

Omar Karami, who had earlier resigned in the face of massive anti-Syrian protests following the assassination of Rafik Hariri, now admits that he cannot form a unity government and may have to resign again. Emile Lahoud may need to find a prime minister with more credibility among the Lebanese nationalists and democracy activists in order to stave off the inevitable for a short period:

Lebanon's pro-Syrian Prime Minister-designate Omar Karami confirmed Wednesday he would abandon his bid to forge a national unity government, but stopped short of formally tendering his resignation. ...

The anti-Syrian opposition had always rejected the idea of a unity government. Karami's doomed effort to form one, and his slow-motion resignation, have fueled opposition suspicions that the authorities are maneuvering to postpone the polls.

"Since the beginning, the government was trying to delay the elections," Christian former President Amin Gemayel told Reuters. "We are pushing to have the elections on schedule."

The elections will clearly result in Lahoud's ouster and the replacement of the puppet government with an independent, nationalistic Lebanese parliament. When that happens, the risks for Lahoud and the rest of his collaborationist allies -- such as Hezbollah -- will face the wrath of those who have fought to free themselves from Syrian hegemony while Lahoud dithers and delays. The new political movement may treat their former masters and their lackeys with openness and forgiveness, as in South Africa, but usually those who cooperate with foreign dictators in oppressing their own people get the Vidkun Quisling treatment instead.

In other words, delaying the election comes down to a life-and-death decision for Lahoud and his friends. He wasn't smart enough to put himself at the front of this popular movement in its early stages. A window for his leadership may still exist, if he is smart enough to recognize it and courageous enough to grab the chance. So far, though, Lahoud has only proved to be little more than Bashar Assad's messenger boy, especially in his efforts to prop up Karami when the latter clearly has no credible following any longer.

The Lebanese people have proven their mettle by refusing to retreat or los interest in their freedom. Karami and Lahoud may have one or two cards left to play, but so far bombs and political machinations have failed to shake them off. They either need to quickly join the forces of freedom or hitch themselves to the last Syrian personnel carrier heading for Damascus.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 30, 2005 12:50 PM

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» The Fit Hitting the Shan for Syria in Lebanon from The Jawa Report
First this news that the Pro-Syrian government in Lebanon collapsing--again. And now this from DEBKA via Charles Johnson:DEBKAfile exclusive military sources report complete collapse of pro-Syrian political and intelligence structure in Lebanon and abr... [Read More]

Tracked on March 30, 2005 2:40 PM

» Lebanon's Prime Minister Says He'll Resign from OpiniPundit
Syria got him back in, propped him up, but it still wasn't enough. They are done calling the shots in Labanon. [Read More]

Tracked on March 30, 2005 5:02 PM

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