The unrest that has swept though the Middle East this year, particularly the increasingly vigorous revolt - excuse me, D.C. policy wonks, “transition” - in Syria, has had little actual resonance in the streets and squares of Beirut, at least when compared to Lebanon’s own mass mobilizations of 2005.
What the Problem Is, Baby?
One underexplored element of stagnation in Beirut is the stale, inefficient, and utterly misguided cabinet structure. Mind you, the problem isn’t really the distribution of portfolios in this cabinet, which is less than enticing. The problem lies in the political elite’s failure to think creatively about what portfolios the Lebanese government should or shouldn’t have in the first place.
To help Lebanon cope with the New New New (is it three or four? What the hell? Just to be safe… New) Middle East, I’ve cobbled together some thoughts on Lebanon’s Cabinet of the Future.
For reasons that will become clear, the only two ministries worth keeping are the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All other ministries – like the Ministry of Sophistry and Bullshit – are entirely new creations that fit the skill sets of Lebanese leaders and meet the expectations of the politically sophisticated Lebanese people.
To see who I’ve named as ministers, and for a high dose of ranting, please click on any links that interest you. Enjoy.
The Ministries of Tomorrow
- Ministry of One-Dimensional Reconstruction, Unbalanced Development, Cronyism in Government, and Deficit Management