Lebanon floats in a stormy ocean

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The Maronite Khalil Gibran wrote that “If Lebanon had not been my country, I would have chosen it anyway”, while a widespread pleasanter assert that God created Paradise in Lebanon but, remembering that he reserved it for the hereafter, he then generated big and small embers of hell around.

Ferlinghetti, inspired by Khalil Gibran, wrote: “Mercy for the nation whose men are sheep, and whose shepherds are bad guides, Mercy for the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced, Mercy for the nation that does not raise its voice, except to praise the conquerors, and acclaim the arrogant as heroes”. These are verses that perfectly fit with today’s Lebanon, upset by a financial crisis without precedents, comparable only with Mugabe’s Zimbabwe abyss.

Lebanon, wounded by the gullibility of a state that, forgetting thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate in a silo for years, remains a political incongruity, if one thinks of its survival hanging in the balance between Syria, desperate for funds to reconstruction, to Israel, to the appetites of the great powers, and to the fact that it has always been the indicator of all regional conflicts. An example: the dialogue with the Kremlin, that recognizes Hezbollah, because functional to the expansion of Russian influence from Syria to the eastern Mediterranean.

In any case, Lebanon remains a strategic country for many: for France, for its historical ties, but also for Italy, which remains, in Europe, one of the main suppliers of products, and is at the head of the mission of the United Nations, UNIFIL. Modern Lebanon, born in 1943, has seen its future vanish amid the smoke of a civil war that lasted 15 years, followed by a division of power which, while guaranteeing a confessional consociated democracy, has safeguarded a complex of sectarian interests that it still prevents institutional and financial solutions.

Modern Lebanon, born in 1943, has seen its future vanish amid the smoke of a civil war that lasted 15 years, followed by a division of power which, while guaranteeing a confessional inclusive democracy, has safeguarded a complex of sectarian interests that it still prevents institutional and financial solutions. The Army remains the only guarantor of stability, even if by now in close competition with Hezbollah, in a general context that has led General Joseph Aoun, received at the Elysée as the most reliable interlocutor of party representatives, to take a position divergent that politics. This is where Western diplomatic and financial action will have to direct its efforts: maintaining the operation of the Lebanese Army16 is the only immediate solution that can prevent the undoing of a region and a state that the West cannot afford. luxury of collapsing by giving it to the Shiite theocracy.

Lebanon is a coup de Théâtre, a trick that has allowed a territorial extension as large as a nut to float in a stormy ocean, where even France remains forbidden, and where perhaps the only viable path is that of war, as indeed happened in the Sahel. A conceptually unacceptable path beyond the Alps if it is true, as it is true, that the sole use of the logistical support of the FA for anti-covid vaccinations has triggered obscure ancestral fears. The poles of power have changed, and remaining on the edge of the game board for the umpteenth time can only condemn Italy to irrelevance, given that Lebanon risks becoming the portal to chaos, and where on the crisis Last October, the Syrian Foreign Minister called for “a – indefinite – very small step forward” towards Assad.

Remaining in the seemingly safe rhetorical fence of chatter about peace, in the long run, will not preserve anyone; Khalil Gibran wrote: “Nothing will stop the sun from rising again, not even the darkest night. Because beyond the black curtain of the night there is a dawn waiting for us.”

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