By General Monzer El Ayoubi

Translation:  Pierre A. Sarkis

Thirty two years have passed between Pope John Paul II’s famous historical statement on 7 September, 1989, “Lebanon is more than a country; it is a message of freedom, and an example of diversity and pluralism to East and West alike”, and Pope Francis’ statement on 8 February, 2021, before members of the Diplomatic Corps of the Holy See, summarized by one phrase “Lebanon is today engaged in regional tensions, and experiencing an internal crisis, as well as, the threat of the loss of its identity”.

This is a protoplasmic period consistent with the saga that Lebanon passed through, with the truth embedded in its core.  This truth is that Lebanon and its people lost a lot of their political, economic, and social values, and then descended into a bottomless abyss of poverty and futile politics, of corruption, of administrative demagogy, of illegitimate Bank decisions, and the theft of depositors’ money… in addition to attaching the umbilical cord to the regional womb, leading to a certain, inevitable abortion.

In a related context, away from the theological-political approach, and reverting to the political and geopolitical course, and according to the truth-teller, in this case, French President Emanuel Macron, “I will visit Lebanon for the third time, after I verify essential matters, and we will do all we can to form a government even if it does not meet all the requirements”.  The French initiative seems to be the only one capable of achieving any progress towards a solution in Lebanon, because the French roadmap is still the only one available on the table, with no other solutions in sight.  During a meeting with representatives from the US, European, and Arab Media at the Elise Palace, President Macron concluded “my sympathy goes to the Lebanese people whose leaders do not deserve their country… Lebanon is a prototype of pluralism in a region ravaged by madness… the Lebanese are wonderful people who contributed unmatched intellectual and cultural success outside Lebanon.

Alternatively, and within the usual expectation of “turning the deaf ear”, Lebanese politicians, party chiefs, as well as, leaders of diverse political fronts and movements apparently did not follow through, or read what was already said, that the Lebanese, residents and immigrants, displaced or refugees, lifted their heads up not in shame or timidity, but at what the minister’s daughter “bouzar jamhr” told King Kisrah and the crowd:  The belle wouldn’t uncover herself, if there were any men among this crowd!!!  This is but the tip of the iceberg for what our political reality, and the quality of most Lebanese officials have become, which is clear and obvious for countries and leaders around the world, who did not fail in branding these officials “a hopeless political caste”.  Thus, necessities allow inhibitions towards early parliamentary elections that could lead to much needed change if voters perfected their choices, and this time around, voters are on the lookout, and they will.

From another perspective, matters of inheritance are usually determined by the nature of the relation between dead and alive, and since the inheritance is what remains, or the fortune, the fear is that there will be no country for our next generations to inherit.  Not to mention another dilemma, as it seems we will not be able to find anyone to inherit it because of its persistent ailments, with those in power inheriting and handing-down to their siblings, as if they were entitled to people’s money, with the country relegated to trash. Politically, it is the “legitimate distrust” because of the impossibility of forming a new government whatever its requirements, as a proof of a committed act, under the pretext of the loss of trust, between the nominated, and his supposed partner in the appointments and signature.  This led some politicians, civic and public movements, in addition to, spiritual leaders on the basis of religious diversity, to call for the implementation of major reforms to the system, with some much needed constitutional amendments, while others called for a broad, centralized administrative system substantially close to federalism.

As for the “local distrust”, it was manifested by the failure, or the unwillingness of the security and judicial apparatus to identify the principal perpetuators who caused the horrific explosion of the Beirut Port, which led to the martyrdom of innocent victims, and inflicted injuries on many others.  This also was applicable to several murders which occurred at the same time, and was considered suspect by people as they related the victims, and the unknown or made-unknown perpetuators, directly or indirectly to the terrorist Port explosion. The other crimes that followed added to the suspicions and doubts, even to the distrust, based on previous occurrences of such complete and characterized crimes, with the investigation results which accounted beforehand, to naught; for the betrayal of the truth is the most despicable and heinous of crimes, with apologies to the verdict, whether guilty or innocent.

In a related context, it seems that international distrust is centered on the ability of the new US Administration to organize regional issues and solve its problems, and end its roaming wars and conflicts, for it seems that reaching the stage of conflict settlement will consume time, and the “joy” is going to be in the rough approaches which are numerous, widespread, and professionally mined, because achieving a breakthrough has always been more difficult than the glare of the explosion.  In addition, Lebanon did not, and will not get a reserved seat at the negotiating table when the time comes, and will unfortunately be a bargaining card at these negotiations by one of the parties, regardless whether it is a losing or a winning card.

From the premise of the words of Jesus Christ, “do not carry for the road except a walking stick”, the stick of the National Episcopal and Maronite parishes spoke, calling for the convening of an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations and the Arab League, to protect Lebanon, its entity and state components, and secure its regime based on the constitution, while safeguarding its unity on the basis of coexistence.  This call could lead deliberately or not, in case numerous demons infringe on the details of the plan, to a distorted internationalization, resulting in cosmic surgery to the flaws of the Taif Accord and the regime, which is what the confessional politicians have perfected over the last century, meaning there will be a truce for some years, then a return to new crises that our children will have to bear.

Be warned that the Lebanese in their aspirations refuse reform based on the usual “kissing beards”, meaning to forgive and to forget, which compel the convening of a conclusive conference, to build the foundations of a civil state based on justice, far from religious confessions, political parties and political feudalism.  In such a state, the mechanisms of governing are organized according to just voting laws, not tailored to the needs of these religious confessions, political parties and political feudalism, but depend on the qualifications of appointees, away from the inherited fatal theory “6 and 6 reiterated”, meaning to divide official and government positions evenly on a religious basis, which is outdated, and is the stirrups of human civilization.

As far as COVID 19 is concerned, it was shocking to hear many listeners complaining in a poll, conducted on a morning television show which discusses social and political issues, and conveying their distrust in the Lebanese state and the vaccination plan.  Furthermore, some of them stated that “the vaccine will be smuggled abroad to be sold in the black market, while the Lebanese will be injected with an ordinary vaccine without any preventive value”.

It is without any wonder that a scary conviction “the vaccine of the bitter truth”, if it occurs, will be without precedence in the history of humanity.  It will be sad and heartbreaking to the point of choosing death over life.  As for the inheritance, nothing good will come out of whatever remains, for whoever survives.