Save Lebanon: Sack Its Political class

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By Ghassan Karam

A major academic work about International Systems defines sovereign state to be:” any nation or people, whatever may be the form of its internal constitution, which governs itself independently of foreign powers”; and furthermore, The New Oxford American Dictionary defines sovereign as an “adjective (of a state that is) fully independent in determining its own affairs”.

Lebanon in its current form does not even come close to meeting the basic qualifications of independence and sovereignty. Whenever there is a seminal question that needs to be dealt with it appears that the solution of choice is to abdicate our responsibility and to ask our neighbours to decide for us.

Whether it is the issue of Palestinian arms, the problem of how to deal with a state within a state, the question of cabinet formation, the terms for ending a civil war or even the potential ramifications of an international indictment by a judicial tribunal set up by the United Nations on our behest, the Lebanese have shown their preference for always dealing with the superficial by never having the courage to address the root cause of what ails them. The tendency to live in denial and to ask outsiders to decide on our behalf is best described as a reflection of immaturity, incompetence and inadequacy.

How can we be up to the task when most of the politicians do not believe in the Lebanese project? They do after all; spend most of their time competing for grace of regional dictators and monarchs when they should be looking after the welfare of their citizens and the affairs of the state.  Lebanon is threatened, again, with political instability and a total ineffectual cabinet but yet the PM, Sa’ad Hariri, has spent more than 50% of his time in office travelling on either peripheral missions, such as a visit to the Sultan of Oman, or a personal visit to Saudi Arabia or France every other week, a s if the current political standoff is not dire enough for him. I do not doubt the sincerity of the PM but what counts are actions much more than words. I see no difference between his busy personal travel schedule and Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat cake”. His behavior is at best insensitive and comes across as a non chalant attitude. If he is not willing to immerse himself in governing then he would do us all a favour by resigning.

The criticism of Mr. Hariri is not to be taken as an endorsement of the opposition. Far from it, Hezbollah does not bother to hide the sources of its funding, illegal arms and spiritual and worldly devotion to Qom and its concept of Wilayat Al Faqih.  The head of the FPM, on the other hand, has proven himself to be a megalomaniac who will side with whoever gives his only goal, of becoming a president hope.  The FPM, as Wiki leaks has demonstrated, have been very handsomely rewarded financial for their positions; $50 million from Qatar for OTV. As for many of the other s such as Beri, Frangieh and Jumblatt they will do anything to win the favour of Damascus, Lebanese affairs be damned. Then there are the second and third tier parties and leaders such as Mr. Gemayel and Mr. Geagea who carry so much baggage that it will be difficult to give them the time of the day.

Then there is the President, Michael Suleiman. He wants to be taken seriously but forgets that he has made a deal with the devil to be elected. How can he possibly defend a constitution that he shredded when he accepted to run for an office that the constitution prohibits him, explicitly from seeking? There isn’t a shred of difference between him and Assad of Syria, Mubarak of Egypt, Bin Ali of Tunisia or Sale of Yemen not to mention the absolute monarchs of Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Bahrain or the inherited leaderships of Kuwait, the UAE and Jordan.

The only logic that can justify the creation of a state is to empower its population to elect representatives that will act on their behalf and in such a way as to promote their welfare. When the politicians fail in exercising their duties, as they have amply demonstrated in the Lebanese case, then the good citizens have the obligation to retire every one of those that have failed them. If we choose not to exercise our natural right, to rule ourselves and to have representatives up to the task then we have no one to blame except ourselves. It is ironic that many of the Lebanese are constantly complaining about the total and utter failure of the political class, as they should, and their tendency not to act to right the ship of state.h

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29 responses to “Save Lebanon: Sack Its Political class”

  1. This article is Sad but True as the lyrics of Sad but True of Metallica’s Black Album once mentioned :).

    Mr. Karam the politicians in Lebanon are just a result of the Lebanese people’s ignorance of the true culture of democracy and the total abuse of something called freedom of speech which results in its way in the false assumption that we acutally know what is good for the country and hence what is truly good for us as people.

    We have a superiority complex, we are lebanese means we understand things better than others and we are in a way better than everyone…just because we are lebanese. Let me tell you something, and it is very hard to admit it but we are not.

    We live in a constant state of self denial by thinking we have a sovereign country that we never did really have. since the early 1900s we were a turkish coloney, then french and then we got our so called independence (basically we remained under the french custody even after 1944) then under syrian custody which did more bad than good, then again we have our Cedar Revolution which gave use our secod so called fake independence that only did us one good thing which is removing the physical presence of a bunch of Syrian soldeirs but not the influence of the regime. Actually the Cedar Revolution did us more bad than good too, because now we are a Saudi/Iranian/Syrain coloney…..you want proof look who is trying to save us from another civil war, isn’t it the famous S-S???

    The fact is we cannot rule on our own as we lack the maturity to do that and the proof is our politicians that we have voted for and ruling us through the foreign powers controlling their will and decisions as they see fit.

    We should denounce Taif, our goverment and all our politicians and start over….

    1. Ghassankaram Avatar
      Ghassankaram

      JadM
      We have no choice but to start over since only mad individuals will persist on doing the same experiment over and over again expecting different results. We have been down this road before and it is time to recognize the need to implement radical change.

      1. Georgeabuali Avatar
        Georgeabuali

        Isn’t insanity doing the same thing again and again. I left Lebanon in the 70’s and today if I reread an old news paper from that time, without looking at the date, I would not be confused or miss any new news, since it all the same news repeating itself in a new time! and Mr. Karam seem has alot of passions for change unfortunately many are not willing to give their life for non union cause. Few shares his vision but not willing to give up their legion to their masters all summed up in his article.
        Flag

  2. This article is Sad but True as the lyrics of Sad but True of Metallica’s Black Album once mentioned :).

    Mr. Karam the politicians in Lebanon are just a result of the Lebanese people’s ignorance of the true culture of democracy and the total abuse of something called freedom of speech which results in its way in the false assumption that we acutally know what is good for the country and hence what is truly good for us as people.

    We have a superiority complex, we are lebanese means we understand things better than others and we are in a way better than everyone…just because we are lebanese. Let me tell you something, and it is very hard to admit it but we are not.

    We live in a constant state of self denial by thinking we have a sovereign country that we never did really have. since the early 1900s we were a turkish coloney, then french and then we got our so called independence (basically we remained under the french custody even after 1944) then under syrian custody which did more bad than good, then again we have our Cedar Revolution which gave use our secod so called fake independence that only did us one good thing which is removing the physical presence of a bunch of Syrian soldeirs but not the influence of the regime. Actually the Cedar Revolution did us more bad than good too, because now we are a Saudi/Iranian/Syrain coloney…..you want proof look who is trying to save us from another civil war, isn’t it the famous S-S???

    The fact is we cannot rule on our own as we lack the maturity to do that and the proof is our politicians that we have voted for and ruling us through the foreign powers controlling their will and decisions as they see fit.

    We should denounce Taif, our goverment and all our politicians and start over….

    1.  Avatar

      JadM
      We have no choice but to start over since only mad individuals will persist on doing the same experiment over and over again expecting different results. We have been down this road before and it is time to recognize the need to implement radical change.

      1.  Avatar

        Isn’t insanity doing the same thing again and again. I left Lebanon in the 70’s and today if I reread an old news paper from that time, without looking at the date, I would not be confused or miss any new news, since it all the same news repeating itself in a new time!

  3. PROPHET.T Avatar

    Ghassan,
    Once again, you painted a very accurate picture of the Lebanese political seen.I tip my heat, you won’t give up.
    Whether the PM or the president or the head of the parliament, each and everyone one them feels that He own the position He’s holding, and that this position belongs to his sect. Each and every one of them feels that He is entitled to do, or not to do, any thing He wishes for. Any complain, becomes a blasphemy against the sect. lol. That goes for most positions in government institutions.
    I Share your frustration, and outrage, yet don’t really have much faith in the Lebanese people anymore.
    You keep saying that we have no choice but to start all over again; I just don’t understand who the “we” are? Unless you really mean a revolution( I know you don’t), I don’t see the “we” moving. Yes the “we” complains all day long, yet it has neither the tools, nor the will to do anything. The “we” is hijacked by the political leaderships and parties.
    The majority are busy trying to makes ends meet, or copying the life style of the corrupt filthy elite when they can’t afford it. It is such a superficial, materialistic, and consumer minded society. Silicon and Botox became so important to our young people ,that they lost interest in politics.
    But keep trying my friend.

    1. Ghassankaram Avatar
      Ghassankaram

      Prophet
      Actually I do mean a revolution but not a bloody one. Just a radical change in thinking and behaviour. Surprise the political feudal lords by not electing them or kow towing to them.I honestly think that the whole Arab world is ripe for revolutions to topple each and ever head of state without a single exception.

      1. PROPHET.T Avatar

        Not too sure if the Arab world is rip for change, but no doubt, it is in dire need for a change.
        Thinking and behavior is getting worse, I think.
        When I hear that in Egypt, the most common crime is either rape or sexual harassment, I get discouraged that, that society is busy looking for a political change.
        My radical solution is to bring in an atheist to rule.LOL
        Let’s watch how things will turn out in Tunisia in the next year or so. Tunisia might surprise us all by being the first to seek some kind of change.
        Peace

  4. PROPHET.T Avatar

    Ghassan,
    Once again, you painted a very accurate picture of the Lebanese political seen.I tip my heat, you won’t give up.
    Whether the PM or the president or the head of the parliament, each and everyone one them feels that He own the position He’s holding, and that this position belongs to his sect. Each and every one of them feels that He is entitled to do, or not to do, any thing He wishes for. Any complain, becomes a blasphemy against the sect. lol. That goes for most positions in government institutions.
    I Share your frustration, and outrage, yet don’t really have much faith in the Lebanese people anymore.
    You keep saying that we have no choice but to start all over again; I just don’t understand who the “we” are? Unless you really mean a revolution( I know you don’t), I don’t see the “we” moving. Yes the “we” complains all day long, yet it has neither the tools, nor the will to do anything. The “we” is hijacked by the political leaderships and parties.
    The majority are busy trying to makes ends meet, or copying the life style of the corrupt filthy elite when they can’t afford it. It is such a superficial, materialistic, and consumer minded society. Silicon and Botox became so important to our young people ,that they lost interest in politics.
    But keep trying my friend.

    1.  Avatar

      Prophet
      Actually I do mean a revolution but not a bloody one. Just a radical change in thinking and behaviour. Surprise the political feudal lords by not electing them or kow towing to them.I honestly think that the whole Arab world is ripe for revolutions to topple each and ever head of state without a single exception.

      1. PROPHET.T Avatar

        Not too sure if the Arab world is rip for change, but no doubt, it is in dire need for a change.
        Let’s watch how things will turn out in Tunisia in the next year or so. Tunisia might surprise us all by being the first to seek some kind of change.
        Peace

  5. Georgeabuali Avatar
    Georgeabuali

    isn’t insanity doing the same thing again and again. I left Lebanon in the 70’s and today if I reread an old news paper from that time, without looking at the date, I would not be confused or miss any new news, since it all the same news repeating itself in a new time! and Mr. Karam seem has alot of passions for change unfortunately many are not willing to give their life for non union cause. Few shares his vision but not willing to give up their legion to their masters all summed up in his article.
    Flag

    1. Ghassankaram Avatar
      Ghassankaram

      Goargeabuali,
      Abu Ali , you sure are right, Einstein did say that insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. BTW, what is behind the spelling of Goarge?:-)

      1. Georgeabuali Avatar
        Georgeabuali

        Ghassan, if you can take a joke, that was the making of the gov. passport cleric when I applied for my first Lebanese passport. Many Lebanese names are and were translated to Latin based on the cleric’s mood. and the region you belong to; though this is true my real name is not the above.

  6.  Avatar

    isn’t insanity doing the same thing again and again. I left Lebanon in the 70’s and today if I reread an old news paper from that time, without looking at the date, I would not be confused or miss any new news, since it all the same news repeating itself in a new time! and Mr. Karam seem has alot of passions for change unfortunately many are not willing to give their life for non union cause. Few shares his vision but not willing to give up their legion to their masters all summed up in his article.
    Flag

    1.  Avatar

      Goargeabuali,
      Abu Ali , you sure are right, Einstein did say that insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. BTW, what is behind the spelling of Goarge?:-)

      1.  Avatar

        Ghassan, if you can take a joke, that was the making of the gov. passport cleric when I applied for my first Lebanese passport. Many Lebanese names are and were translated to Latin based on the cleric’s mood. and the region you belong to; though this is true my real name is not the above.

  7. I agree with you Mr.Karam. Real statesmen are needed to build a state for they put themselves at the service of their country.Politicians are after their own interests !So many destroy their country and their people and never admit fault or failure!Needed are those who can do something for their country those w,ho believe in their country first and accept it,and work for the welfare of their people not use it or let it be used as a stage where all kinds of plays are performed !

    1. Ghassankaram Avatar
      Ghassankaram

      Fauzia,
      You have done it again:-) Very well said.

  8.  Avatar

    I agree with you Mr.Karam. Real statesmen are needed to build a state for they put themselves at the service of their country.Politicians are after their own interests !So many destroy their country and their people and never admit fault or failure!Needed are those who can do something for their country those w,ho believe in their country first and accept it,and work for the welfare of their people not use it or let it be used as a stage where all kinds of plays are performed !

  9.  Avatar

    I agree with you Mr.Karam. Real statesmen are needed to build a state for they put themselves at the service of their country.Politicians are after their own interests !So many destroy their country and their people and never admit fault or failure!Needed are those who can do something for their country those w,ho believe in their country first and accept it,and work for the welfare of their people not use it or let it be used as a stage where all kinds of plays are performed !

    1.  Avatar

      Fauzia,
      You have done it again:-) Very well said.

  10. A great article, I totally agree with Prophet and Jad.

    As we have discussed this topic many times now in the past and still the fundamental conundrum in Lebanon is that our sovereignty has always been questioned due to the country’s continuous reliance on foreign Patron states for either diffusing internal tension buildups or simply providing financial aid to the factions competing in the Lebanese political arena.
    Domestically speaking, Lebanon is a Partisan state with corrupt minority elites dominating and controlling the welfare and well being of their sects.
    Notice this is one of the main reasons why Lebanon failed to create an effective institutional government ever since the independence in late 1943.
    Now taking into consideration of our dire predicament.
    Mr. Karam, the classical class consciousness of the masses in Lebanon is entirely missing and like Prophet has said” “we” complains all day long, yet it has neither the tools, nor the will to do anything.” because it is hijacked by the political leaderships and their parties.
    Going back to the class consciousness and without it a genuine revolution can never occur.

    Sebouh
    Happy New Year guys…………

    1. Ghassankaram Avatar
      Ghassankaram

      Sebouh,
      You are correct in concluding that a “revolution” is needed but is not currently brewing in Lebanon because the Lebanese masses do not seem to be ready for it.Yet I cannot accept the idea that the current state of affairs can go on indefinitely.Notice the reactionary proposal by Harb/Bkirki yesterday. That is an act of desperation by the Maronite political and religious elites. No one knows what is it that sets a chain of events off but I am betting that at one point the dams will break and the ensuing flood will cleanse society of all these political feudal lords whose existence is similar to leaches that suck the blood of their host.

  11.  Avatar

    A great article, I totally agree with Prophet and Jad.

    As we have discussed this topic many times now in the past and still the fundamental conundrum in Lebanon is that our sovereignty has always been questioned due to the country’s continuous reliance on foreign Patron states for either diffusing internal tension buildups or simply providing financial aid to the factions competing in the Lebanese political arena.
    Domestically speaking, Lebanon is a Partisan state with corrupt minority elites dominating and controlling the welfare and well being of their sects.
    Notice this is one of the main reasons why Lebanon failed to create an effective institutional government ever since the independence in late 1943.
    Now taking into consideration of our dire predicament.
    Mr. Karam, the classical class consciousness of the masses in Lebanon is entirely missing and like Prophet has said” “we” complains all day long, yet it has neither the tools, nor the will to do anything.” because it is hijacked by the political leaderships and their parties.
    Going back to the class consciousness and without it a genuine revolution can never occur.

    Sebouh
    Happy New Year guys…………

    1.  Avatar

      Sebouh,
      You are correct in concluding that a “revolution” is needed but is not currently brewing in Lebanon because the Lebanese masses do not seem to be ready for it.Yet I cannot accept the idea that the current state of affairs can go on indefinitely.Notice the reactionary proposal by Harb/Bkirki yesterday. That is an act of desperation by the Maronite political and religious elites. No one knows what is it that sets a chain of events off but I am betting that at one point the dams will break and the ensuing flood will cleanse society of all these political feudal lords whose existence is similar to leaches that suck the blood of their host.

  12. The political class is an image of the rotten lebanese society, so unfortunately it cant be sacked

  13.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    The political class is an image of the rotten lebanese society, so unfortunately it cant be sacked

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