‘Lebanon can’t be ruled by a political militia mentality’: Cardinal Rai

Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Cardinal Raï speaks at the In Defense of Christians press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Sept. 10, 2014. He explained the issues facing Christians in Mosul, Iraq.
Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Cardinal Raï speaks at the In Defense of Christians press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Sept. 10, 2014. He explained the issues facing Christians in Mosul, Iraq.

Lebanon’s top Christian spiritual leader Cardinal  Patriarch Beshara al-Rai said the country could not be ruled by the mentality of political militia, highlighting the necessity to  educate the new generations so that they develop a different outlook,  National News Agency reported on Monday.

“Now that most of the military militias have ended, it is unacceptable that Lebanon be ruled by a political militia mentality,” Rai said in comments over the deadlock in government formation  during the 52nd meeting of the Catholic Archbishops and Patriarchs’ Council, held in Bkirki.

“Lebanon has a previous civilized value that must be preserved,” he underlined.

 “Our youth and new generations must be raised on the basis of a different mentality,” he stressed.
In May 1991, all the militias were dissolved, with the exception of Hezbollah, while the Lebanese Armed Forces began to slowly rebuild as Lebanon’s only major non-sectarian institution. Religious tensions between Sunnis and Shiites remained after the war.
Hezbollah backed by Iran has been  obstructing   the formation of every government and the election of every president ever since the civil  war ended.
The Lebanese Civil War  lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted  in an estimated 120,000 fatalities . As of 2012, approximately 76,000 people remain displaced within Lebanon. There was also an exodus of almost one million people from Lebanon as a result of the war.
The Taif Agreement  that was signed in Taif Saudi Arabia in  1989 marked the beginning of the end of the fighting. In January 1989 a committee appointed by the Arab League began to formulate solutions to the conflict. In March 1991, parliament passed an amnesty law that pardoned all political crimes prior to its enactment.
But distrust  remains and the country is run like a mafia operation by the same warlords of the 75-90 civil war . The alliances may have changed but the militia  mentality of ‘what is in it for me ‘ remains , this  is why Lebanon  is one of the most highly notorious for corruption on a global scale.
This is why very few  of the leaders think  of  Lebanon as their number one priority, but since they were all disarmed they cannot militarily influence any decision. Hezbollah is the exception. With Iran’s military and financial backing and Syria’s blessing Hezbollah has been dictating its terms  ever since the Taif accord was signed in 1989.  In 2008 it used its arms against the Lebanese people and ever since then and whenever the party felt the need to dictate a decision  it has been  reminding  everyone  of that date .