The stories about Lebanon with its difficult situation and nightmares never end. It’s a beautiful country with a good land and nice people that have experience in tourism and hospitality.
But times have changed, and anyone who has beautiful memories of this country can see how present problems are strangling Lebanon to the point of paralysis.
Criticizing Lebanon’s situation aims to defend it as we liked it. People fell into the trap of naïve optimism due to what was known as the “new era.” They thought their crises will be resolved and the local press and media generally followed this wave. However, any observer can see the depth of the catastrophic crises.
Civil powers in Lebanon wrongly placed their bet on Hezbollah as a political power that can gradually evolve into a civil party. This “consensual democracy” is formal as vital democratic models actually contribute to enhancing the atmospheres of freedomFahad Suleiman Shoqiran
Some laughable incidents somehow explain the extent of these calamities. For example, at a donors’ conference held for helping Lebanese economy, top officials from lending countries booked economy class air tickets to go to the conference venue while the borrowers ironically came on fleets of private planes.
Some people protested the fact that Lebanese President Michel Aoun abused his powers since the presidency was allegedly behind managing these trips. However, such allegations were denied by the presidential palace, and it said that the president has been following the footsteps of his predecessors and there has been no deviation in policy or actions.
When writing about the country’s several crises, one cannot overlook the internal political weakness as moderate liberal forces, the leftist parties that oppose Syria and Iran and Christian factions which have revolted against murderous parties have succumbed to the power of de facto, i.e. the fundamentalism represented in Hezbollah.
Saad al-Hariri, who held the hopes of many, as he is the descendant of a liberal and a great economic visionary, to have his own political formation and self-identity with a project that harmonizes with the era and the reality, seems to have engaged in a swirl of pleasantries until he incorporated within the slogan of the “new era” amid the reality of Hezbollah’s domination over Lebanon.
Few days ago I bitterly asked a Lebanese journalist from the Communist Party: “If the politicians in Lebanon have all admitted, even the hawks, that their personal security, the protection of their sects and the protection of their gains in politics and investment depended upon Hezbollah, and if they practically surrendered to Hezbollah, then what’s the difference between this and between publicly handing over the keys of Lebanon to Hezbollah and the charade would thus end?”
It is a shocking question but it was asked due to all this surrender and submission by the parties which are supposed to be civil and which are supposed to be defending the values of freedom, individualism, institutions, law and order, and not the proclamation that “weapons are men’s accessories,” which is reminiscent of Viking killers who consider “fighting as fun.”
‘The impossible state’
The biggest problem is in the nature of democratic interpretation. The concept of “consensual democracy”, a common term in the rhetoric of Lebanese political leaders to note the impossibility that one side can cancel the other, is considered a long truce.
Civil powers in Lebanon wrongly placed their bet on Hezbollah as a political power that can gradually evolve into a civil party. This “consensual democracy” is formal as vital democratic models actually contribute to enhancing the atmospheres of freedom. In Lebanon, there is liberalism but without political secularism that destroys sectarian patterns. Therefore, this is an incapacitated democracy.
According to George Tarabishi, the democratic system can be defined as a form of political life that gives the greatest extent of freedom to the largest number while protecting and producing the greatest diversity possible. Secularization is the most fertile ground for democracy and without it there could be a terrible distortion in the political body.
The fundamentalist rule, or the "impossible state," as Professor Wael Hallaq entitled one of his books, cannot be bet on to create a new reality. The biggest evidence to the extent of the problem is that Lebanon has difficult options as the only current logic stipulates that this is how the current situation is and it’s not possible to engage in internal strife and that Hezbollah is the dominating party. Hence, it’s either that the current submissive politicians have their independent positions towards Hezbollah and they oppose it during dialogues and discussions among cadres, or they have become tools that are forcefully being directed upon the decision of the supreme leader in Lebanon, and therefore, they are just small parties swallowed by Hezbollah.
This raises the question: Isn’t this the absolute surrender by political leaders to Hezbollah’s domination over the institutions, government and councils? Why is this not considered a capitulation by politicians who have submitted to the de facto power?!
Few days ago, Dr. Radwan Al-Sayed wrote in his column in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper: “Since the occupation of Beirut in 2008 until this day, the party’s actions have been directed to take full control of the country, its institutions, airport, port and army, and finally the presidency and the parliament.
For more than a decade, the main charge against the March 14th Forces has been that they were American and conspiratorial, even though they won the majority of votes in the 2009 elections. The parties of independence have thus failed, and the country is now cracking on the financial, institutional, economic and security levels. Do the brave nationalists and leftists, Lebanese and non-Lebanese, and which most of whom stood by Assad and Hezbollah believe that they have won? "
This is the issue and the crisis, and these are the chains.
This article is also available in Arabic.