شارل الياس شرتوني: لبنان ومثلثات برمودا Lebanon and the Bermuda Triangles Charles Elias Chartoun/May 14/2022
“Il n’y a point de plus cruelle tyrannie que celle que
l’on exerce à l’ombre des lois et avec les couleurs
de la justice”. Montesquieu
The damning curse of Lebanese Politics is the brunt of foreign interventions and their impact on shaping their clashing agendas, and the transformation of the Lebanese political scene into a shadow theater, and its reigning oligarchs into table puppets. The bad news, under the ongoing tragic circumstances, are the lack of novelty since the country was never able to extract itself from the repeating cycles of foreign interventions with alternating regional power brokers. The actual sense of helplessness owes mainly to the state of structural breakdown impelled by the manufacturing of a mortal financial crisis throughout the last thirty two years, the mounted coup d’état by the Shiite coalition (Hezbollah and Amal) and their enlisted clientele (Michel Aoun and a trans-communal coalition weaved by the Shiite duo), the well seated oligarchic foreclosures and the instrumentalisation of Lebanon as a platform for Iranian political subversion and its Sunnite reciprocations in an imploding regional order.
The burning issue is whether we have a chance to extricate ourselves from the regional imbroglios, deal with our ruinous financial crises and their destructive consequences, and move unto a stage of structural overhaul of our governance. The answer is quite sobering, since the Shiite fascist coalition is moving along a set of exclusive priorities articulated on the very basis of the Iranian subversion strategy at the regional level, the protection of its rents, clientelistic mapping of the public sector, worldwide structured criminal economy, domination narrative and its religious warrants. Whereas, their allied oligarchs who control the banking sector (the political class and its business partners own 18/20 Alpha banks), the Central Bank and the parliament are quite busy securing the monumental robbery, and preventing the politics of conditionality set by the IMF and the donor countries from being enforced, as a prelude to economic normalization and the reconstruction of its nomothetic and regulatory frameworks.
The procrastination politics are no hazard since the unleashing of the crisis last October 2019, it’s a deliberate sabotaging of international reformist arbitrations, determination to put an exclusive hold on governance, unravel the consensual script of Lebanese pluralism, and destroy the foundations of the democratic polity through demographic permutations, and the inflection of urban, economic, social and educational dynamics. The terrorist explosion of the Beirut Harbor was quite symptomatic of all the subterranean dynamics that have destroyed the basics of sovereignty, national security, reformist governance and constitutional statehood.
The interlocking crises of Ukraine, the self defeating Vienna haggling, and the imbroglios of the Lebanese political scene (Aoun’s subservience to Hezbollah, the idiotic and self centered cynicism of Saad Hariri, the undulating politics of Sunni oligarchs and the shenanigans of Walid Jumblatt and his druze nemeses, the kaleidoscopic features of the civic movements, the nihilistic and totalitarian ravings of the Charbel Nahas sect, make them objective allies to Hezbollah…,.) are golden opportunities for the sabotaging politics, the undermining of a common civic and national narrative and the ultimate destruction of the Lebanese National entity.
Nonetheless, the regional pitfalls are down the road and Lebanese have no other chance to avoid them but returning to their civil religion script, institutional game, reasonable power calculations, and moral sense. Hezbollah’s arrogance is self deluding and his regional bartering games are short sighted, he cannot “ have the butter and the butter’s money”. In the meantime, Lebanon is bleeding and it seems that’s what he is looking for, but guess what, the cost is exacting and the outcome lethal. Nihilistic ideologies and their repertoire are not careful about consequences, and it takes the hard way to draw the lessons and shift the course, while the rest of Lebanese are picking up the tab.