LEBANON has never witnessed such an extensive revolution of anger and rage that has exceeded the limits of sects and parties like the current demonstrations that have been ongoing in Beirut and other areas of Lebanon since last Thursday in protest against the policies adopted by the ruling authorities for decades, which has resulted in poverty and starvation among the citizens.
Throughout these years, all political powers proved that they failed to meet the demands of the Lebanese street. These political parties tried to find a way out of the crisis either by taking advantage of the demonstrations or using massive power in terms of shooting the demonstrators, as seen in several areas of Lebanon.
The most recent indication was the military’s show of power towards the supporters of National Assembly Speaker and Head of Amal Movement in Sour city of South Lebanon. They fired shots at peaceful demonstrators. The supporters of some parties were hurt by the lava of the volcano of anger and tried to turn the direction of the demonstrations into violent actions, seeking for these actions to result in a confrontation between the citizens and security authorities.
In the last three days, a number of Lebanese politicians had portrayed the uprising as the start of the country’s devastation. They actually denied the fact that the people’s anger is really widespread. The response to a hint given by Hassan Nasrallah in a recent speech about a civil war was the demonstrators’ chant: “All of them means all of them … Nasrallah is one of them”.
This means that the citizens have destroyed the wall of fear, and there is no gravity left for any religious or political figures to hide behind popular slogans for protection or attempt to make sure the uprising fails.
The public anger, which covers across Lebanon from the north to the mountains, Beirut, Beqaa and the south, made no difference for any of the leaders including those who tried to overstep the wave of demonstrations and invest it for the benefit of their parties. They have been depressed about receiving furious reactions from the people.
What does this mean? Lebanon is a small country that was once a lighthouse for the East, and a global and Arab center-point in all fields. That wonderful country has now become an area filled with diseases due to the competition of the ruling militias that came to power after the 17-year civil war ended. Those militias awakened the sleeping monster of sectarianism, using it to intimidate people.
Ironically, those who brought Lebanon to the edge of collapse are now lecturing people using virtuous terms that they have nothing to do with. This is what Hassan Nasrallah warned about the change of equations, refusing the government to resign, and demanding the Lebanese to choose between the civil war and accept the current regime to continue with the same crew.
This means he wants Lebanon to continue as a victim of international sanctions that were brought to Lebanon by Michel Oun and his ally Hassan Nasrallah based on directives from the regime in Tehran.
It seems the Lebanese are no longer affected by the attempts to terrify them through exaggeration. They announced that they have only one option – dismiss the entire political regime without any exception.
Yes, Hassan Nasrallah is not different from his colleagues from the very right to the very left who are beneficiaries of the quota system that has led the citizens to suffer from poverty instead of taking advantage of the civil war experience to transform Lebanon into a country that attracts citizens rather than forcing half of them to leave their country in search for alternative homeland.
Lebanon could have become “the Switzerland of the East” in all aspects instead of becoming a big garbage bin into which all countries throw their troubles in order to draw attention away from their internal crises. Lebanese people did not simply decide to resort to the streets. They became frustrated by the widespread corruption which resembles a rope getting tighter around their necks day after day.
This conclusion means that the rulers of Lebanon did not study well the experiences of other nations simply because a dictator usually behaves like a blind and reckless man when dealing with his people.
As it was previously said, “Say it and go your way”, it is clear that the Lebanese who did not leave the streets throughout the past years have already said their word. I dare affirm that they will never leave their place until the leaders who are responsible for the poverty will leave the power and the militias will abandon their devastating projects.
The violent attempts adopted recently by some militias will not succeed. They will never manage to force the Lebanese to give up their uprising. The Lebanese, who suffered from starvation due to the policies adopted by the current regime that gave nothing to the people but more poverty, are no longer afraid of the weapons. They have decided to face the bullets with their bare chests.
Unquestionably, something very important had happened when the leadership of the Lebanese Army announced that the army supports the citizens’ demands. Since the Lebanese Army is the only authority that the entire Lebanese trusts, the message of the army has a deep meaning that different powers have to read carefully and make a decision about their situation before they are swept away by the flood of the people’s exasperation, and collapse the table over the era of Iran and its tools.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times