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Lebanon and the slow disintegration … When hope becomes a mirage

The British newspaper “The Guardian” published a press report that painted a bleak picture of Lebanon’s future, warning that the country was slowly moving towards disintegration.

She stated that large and growing numbers of Lebanese believe that their long-held dream has gone unheeded, and that the fastest way out of the impasse is to emigrate out of the country whose complexes are breaking out at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world.

According to the British newspaper, there is nothing that reflects Lebanon’s transformation into a failed state more than the massive explosion that occurred in the Beirut port on August 4, which was caused by a shipment of ammonium nitrate estimated at 2750 tons, which has been in place for 6 years in a warehouse without preventive measures. Which led to the killing of 200 people and wounding of thousands of others, and damage to at least 7,000 homes and buildings.

Martin Chulov, the newspaper’s correspondent in the Middle East who prepared the report, believes that the warehouse of bulk goods and shipments at Beirut port has become a “microcosm” of Lebanon’s woes and problems.

The author of the report blames all the political blocs in the country, as each bears part of what happened in them, adding that the destruction that befell Beirut angered the already exhausted people.

Everyone wants to leave

The report quotes Hussein Termes – a citizen of Marjayoun district in the south who currently lives in the southern suburb of Beirut – as saying that he will leave Lebanon “in the blink of an eye” as soon as he obtains an entry visa to any country in the world.

“All I care about is to be able to provide all my daily necessities, such as food, drink and cigarettes,” added the 36-year-old.

Many people like Lupine are facing a continuous collapse in the value of the Lebanese currency (the pound), rampant inflation of goods, and widespread unemployment, and just subsistence is no longer an option.

Rabih Khairuddin, a musician from the Druze community, says he sees no hope for a change in conditions, “and this was clearly apparent weeks after the explosion. Everyone I know wants to leave.”

According to the British newspaper, the end of the civil war in Lebanon, which lasted from 1975 to 1990, was only the beginning of a series of “catastrophic” events in the country’s modern history.

That war was soon followed by an Israeli occupation and Syrian tutelage over the country, before political assassinations triggered new waves of instability, most notably the killing of then-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The author of the report claims that the assassination of Hariri in 2005 contributed to fueling the instability that followed the incident, which led to Syria’s withdrawal from Lebanon.

Then a new war broke out with Israel in 2006, followed by the popular uprising in Syria in 2011, which resulted in a wave of refugees to Lebanon.

Paralysis and dependence

According to the report, it was hoped that it would herald the emergence of the civil and cross-sectarian nationalism, which spread throughout Lebanon from its northern borders with Syria to its borders with Israel, with a covenant in which the inhabitants of this country can begin, together, to formulate their destinies.

But that spirit soon gave way to something similar to the post-civil war situation, namely “paralysis and dependence.”

The Lebanese accuse their leaders of perpetuating the collapse of the state by rejecting the demands of economic and political reform.

In the past year, commodity prices have quadrupled in some cases. It is expected that subsidies on flour, medicine and oils will be removed in the coming months.

The result could be disastrous in a country of close to 70% of the population of poverty. According to the Guardian report, the year since the outbreak of the protests has overshadowed even the darkest days of the sectarian conflict that devastated Lebanon and killed nearly 115,000 people. The most recent of these disasters was the explosion of a fuel tanker last Friday inside a building in Beirut, killing 4 people and wounding others.

The report touched on the two recent visits by French President Emmanuel Macron to Beirut and his understanding of the scale of the disaster there. In his report, the author pointed out that France has had interests in Lebanon since the Mandate period, following the First World War, which gave it the right to have a meaningful opinion on how to build the modern Lebanese state.

Reforming the political system was the main demand of President Macron, as for others who saw the imminent collapse of the state, and showed willingness to throw a lifeline to Lebanon despite the apparent impatience of his leaders.

Minority rule

The report recalled the agreement concluded by the Lebanese leaders in the Saudi city of Taif after the civil war ended in 1990. According to the agreement, tasks and responsibilities were distributed among the various sects in what was known as quotas in an attempt to share power between them.

It was that the Shiites won the post of Speaker of Parliament, Christians took over the presidency, and Sunnis took over the presidency.

However, these three roles have become the core of what the Guardian called “oligarchy”, meaning minority rule that is subject to the domination of a small group concerned with exploitation and the realization of self-benefits.

In the opinion of the author of the report, the rule of the minority was formed on the ruins of the state, as those in charge of the situation tightened their control over the reconstruction projects. These situations have also become a subject of conflict of regional interests, which have acquired a large share in Lebanon since the early founding of the modern state, and even doubled its efforts after the establishment of the ceasefire.

The newspaper dealt with the role of the United States in developments in Lebanon, pointing out that Washington increased its “maximum pressure” on Iran, thinking that strangling its economy would weaken – in part – Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, which played a major role in keeping President Bashar al-Assad in limbo. Judgment.

With the American presidential elections approaching, the hawks of President Donald Trump’s administration sought to direct the pressure imposed on Iran towards Hezbollah, by imposing sanctions on more of its leaders, companies and businesses, and working on obtaining a decision from Congress to not recognize a Lebanese government in which the party is part of the coalition components.

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