THE flimsy representation at the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, which was held in Lebanon’s capital Beirut, is a clear indication of the Arab agony in a country that was once the lungs of freedom in the Arab world, and the center for journalism and treasury.
It has been transformed into a battlefield where every field owner blames the other, making Lebanon fall into the ditch of sectarian altercations and a grim horizon.
It is as if all that we know about this country is a dream, especially after we noticed the knives of its people cutting each other with pride just like the Age of Ignorance.
Hence, in the future, whoever reads the political history of Lebanon will find dark pages written with ink of hatred, ignorance and abhorred sectarianism which was never experienced by an Arab country before the invention of fighting on ruins.
This happened after the Arab sanctuary turned into a quarantine area for every person with contagious disease. It resembles Iraq which is submerged in sectarian confl icts planted by the Mullah regime. Today, Sudan is walking towards the same direction.
When we talk about Lebanon, sorrow overwhelms us as we considered it a sanctuary. Now, we pity the Lebanese as they endure poverty and despair over what was inherited by their leaders who see Lebanon as a milking cow, such that even if it dries out, they divide its meat while it is still alive so public debts soared to $95 billion – 150 percent of the country’s GDP.
These debts have become the wealth of leaders paid by the ordinary Lebanese, while the leaders of militia groups and others hampered the formation of the government for months due to their dispute over the looting quota of the Lebanese meat.
This occurred after the recent Paris Summit which endorsed $12 billion aid. Naturally, the ordinary citizen will not benefit from it because all the funds will go to the pockets of politicians. In a country where three million of its citizens have opted to migrate due to poverty caused by its leaders and where 35,000 youths graduate annually from universities but don’t find work, the option is to migrate or endure the pressure of unemployment and poverty.
What kind of country is left for the militias to protect as they have been claiming to do? After the Taif Agreement in 1989, the Lebanese and Arabs were optimistic about the new era in terms of restoring the role of Lebanon in the region.
Nevertheless, this optimism was short-lived due to the sectarian quotas and Hezbollah weapon used to put pressure and intimidate the remaining layers of the community in order to monopolize infl uence and power before transforming it into ‘religious’ dictatorship like Tehran.
It is no-brainer to realize that the existence of Lebanon is based on diversity and any imbalance will lead to its fall. Despite all that, the Mullah’s militia persisted in its seditious schemes with the help of the Amal movement led by Nabih Berri. This movement recently excavated an issue from the past.
It intimidated, threatened and burnt the Libyan flag in protest against the invitation of Libya to the economic summit. Because of that, Lebanon is in Arab isolation which surpasses international isolation. The militia demeanor means that 28 years after the end of the civil war, Lebanon has yet to have a State authority with the ability to exercise its natural role. What happened in the last two months on its border with Israel when tunnels which crossed international borders were discovered means Hezbollah is in for a new war that Lebanon cannot bear.
This country has been the biggest loser in all the past wars, while Iran gains much in terms of cementing its existence and moving confrontation away from its land. At the same time, Israel continues to become stronger and stronger.
In light of all this, which summit, economy or development can we talk about? Lebanon is like a miniature Spain as sectarian leaders have destroyed everything. Now, they are like pirates fighting against each other to become the captain of a ship filled with holes and on the verge of sinking.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times