Lebanon has recently been the scene of a new, thriving mini-industry: comments by local politicians about the latest scenarios that will come to pass in Syria.
One of the strongest messages being put forward by the March 8 camp is short, and simple. “Don’t wager on the outcome of foreign intervention” in the war in Syria, March 14 politicians are told by their rivals, who fail to notice that this message itself represents a wager on what is taking place, namely that whatever happens will be in the interests of March 8.
Meanwhile, some March 14 politicians have transformed into full-time analysts, explaining the intricacies of policymaking in Washington, as if they have been attending round-the-clock meetings at the Pentagon, State Department, Congress and White House.
One wonders why all of these “experts,” who are able to fill up hour after hour on television screens with their latest information and spins on the Syria crisis, aren’t sought after by the international media, eager to understand what is taking place, and what is to come.
The puzzling thing is how all this massive brainpower has been put to work in solving the extremely complicated geopolitical issue that is the Syrian war, with each side convinced it has arrived at the truth, and can accurately predict the course of events next door. Meanwhile, no amount of intellectual effort has been able to solve Lebanon’s own crisis, either in terms of solutions for several divisive national issues, or solutions to the many problems faced daily by the average Lebanese.
The two rival camps in Lebanon, along with some in the middle, act as if they are making a mark in Syria and have some kind of role to play, worthy of the attention of the Lebanese, and perhaps the world. They would be surprised to discover that in fact, few people take notice of their instant analyses and elaborate speculation.
They fail to understand that they have two major negative points against them. One is that many politicians in Lebanon are making their pronouncements based on the fact that they have ties to one of the rival camps in the region and in Syria – thus, “their testimony is suspect,” as the Arabic expression goes, and represents nothing other than what they hope to see, and not what is actually taking place on the ground.
The other, more disappointing aspect of this mini-industry of “Syrian expertise” is that the same people who think they can accurately analyze and predict what is going on next door have no clue about solving the massive problems faced by their own country.
Instead, they should be focusing their brainpower on Lebanon’s national agenda, and devising urgently needed measures to limit the negative repercussions of the Syrian war on their own country.