As of this moment, serious mounting concerns are overshadowing the optimism generated by the formation of the cabinet. Of those concerns, the most serious one is answering the question: Who will back this government regionally or internationally?
Another is how will this “Hezbollah” government obtain funds to sustain the Lebanese market? Is there anyone foolish enough to grant their enemies money for free and for nothing in return?
Why would Washington overlook “Hezbollah’s government” while it continues to enforce sanctions upon them that are growing more and more by the day?
Finally, there is a growing concern internally which is: How can Hassan Diab remain continuously defiant to the entirety of the Sunni sect?
When diving in search of convincing answers for these questions, the observer must pause at Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri’s latest statement on Wednesday when he said : “ The trust of the people as well as that of the International and Arab community is more crucial than the trust of the parliament.” This means that Diab’s cabinet neither has internal, regional nor international support as it struggles with the current economic and financial crises.
Concerning and contradictory ministerial statements
Those following the statements made by the new ministerial appointees, regardless of their allegiance, partisanship, or the entire form this government has taken, can discern the astonishing, contradictory, and disappointing statements made by them starting from the Minister of Finance; who acknowledged the difficulty of controlling the dollar exchange rate and the impossibility of its return to the official rate of 1500 L.L. Following that, the Minister of Energy was also notably unable to set a time limit as to when electricity can be provided 24/7 as his predecessors often have. How can a $47B debt caused by the electricity sector be repaid?
On the popular front however, representatives from the Sunni community are voicing their complete rejection to what they view as a deceptive and failed cabinet that will not fool them no matter what color it paints itself with. The uprising will continue in the streets no matter how many security forces stand in its opposition.
The American VETO
On the more important international front, we can conclude that no government can lift up a bankrupt and financially sanctioned country without the presence of international support for its cabinet. This support is desperately needed in order to ensure Arab and Gulf support in the form of attracting foreign funds with low interest. Up until this moment, the apathy from the Arab countries, the Gulf, and the international community is apparent; with the exception of France and the UN whose response can be described as protocol.
Yesterday, an important statement was made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying: “Washington will provide aid only to a Lebanese government that is not corrupt and is committed to carrying out reforms and responding to the demands of the people.”
This statement, if true, is directed at Diab and his government, means that the American ire has already occurred, and the worst is yet to come!