November 24, 2007

From Beirut to Annapolis?

Yesterday afternoon, Abu Muqawama shared a few pints of Guinness with one of the smarter and better-informed Lebanon analysts he knows. Here's a question that came up:

Is this deadlock in Lebanon someone's way of getting Lebanon on the agenda when the USA, Israel, and representatives from key Arab States meet in Annapolis this week? Because if you were trying to think of a way to get Walid Moualem (Syria's foreign minister) to make the trip to Maryland, that would certainly be one way. And if you're Walid Moualem, a crisis in Beirut would be one more bargaining chip if you did decide to show up. And finally, if you're one of Lebanon's self-important politicians, it means you're the center of the foreign affairs universe for one more week before everyone forgets about you again. Basically, it's win-win-win.

Except for the people of Lebanon, of course. They lose. Again.