“Lebanon cannot govern itself: Could placing it again under French Mandate help protect it?” (Reflections by Ms. Aline A.)

Today, Bambi spent time chatting with her good friend Aline A. about Lebanon and the Middle East.

This post reflects Ms. Aline A.’s deep insights that sadly have much truth in them, despite the Lebanese people’s revolt and aspirations for better days.

Thank you for this food for thought Aline and for your generosity in accepting to share your thoughts on this blog:

“All political parties have started with a certain goal or a mission. However, not even half-way through (sometimes just ¼ of the way), they all forgot about their goal and they started working for their own interests, instead of the national interests.

Even during civil war, forces on the war front lines would agree on the fighting rules: Now, your turn to attack. Now my turn to shell. They all robbed the population here and there. All were involved in brainwashing young people, stealing their future and maybe contributing to their drug addictions. They used incentives to reward them; money may be appealing when our family lives in poverty. Young people died in the combats. Warlords (now political leaders) increased their wealth.

Sectarianism has been in our blood, so to speak. Even those who say that we are against sectarianism, if you insult their spiritual beliefs, Jesus or Prophet Mohammed, they would lose their mind.

Add to this, how we as Lebanese, are sometimes like double agents, serving the interests of foreign countries more than our own. Perhaps some were tempted by this or that reward from this or that external force. They even changed their policies accordingly. This politician works for Iran. The other for Saudi Arabia. Yet another for the United States. Some even work for this and that at the same time.

The above is the sad reality of Lebanon. It is a tiny country at the mercy of foreign countries. How would you get out of this? Every time, we try to get out of this, we fail because of our weaknesses.

Money kills us. Appearances too. Some are even willing to sell everything just for money in their pocket. They may even sell their souls, even loved ones, or whole country.

Innocent people have always been the silent majority.

According to me, with all due respect to those who think they can lead Lebanon, we need another civilized country to govern us so we can: (1) live in peace and (2) know that, whatever would happen in the regional politics surrounding us, we must remain neutral. In other terms, this must not become our problem. It is our only logical solution if we want to see a prosperous Lebanon again. If not, we will keep going through war every 30 years.

It is as simple as that really. At least this is my opinion right now. We have sadly demonstrated our inability to preserve our country. A small country that we could have preserved. Why not? Whomever came to us, from the Palestinians to the Syrians, etc. We welcomed them in and did not know how to show them the way out. Our politicians used the Palestinians for their own business interests. We did the same with the Syrians. Some started following the lead of the Syrians and the Syrians started to govern us. The same story seems to be moving on.

We do not deserve our country [by we, Ms. A. means the politicians]. Politicians forget their principles for the sake of money. Those who may be decent go unnoticed among the corrupt ones.

Seniors, from my parents’ generation, would say the same as I am saying now: This is sadly the story of Lebanon but had the French mandate [or colonization that ended in 1943] been still ongoing, we would have been living in peace and prosperity. Our children would have likely had a future ahead of them. This would have been true, even if of course France would be benefitting. At least, as they say in Lebanon: “Give your dough to the baker even if he will eat half of your bread”.

Lebanese people are proud people. They love the idea that the alphabet started there [with the Phoenicians as their ancestors], civilization, culture, and medicine too [during the Arab renaissance times]. Did we know how to continue all this renaissance? No. We have reached a stage where we have stopped progressing. Maybe we sold our consciousness? Maybe we started being too corrupt to remain creative? Maybe money blinded us, in the whole Arab region. Maybe that is why the West knew how to take advantage of our weaknesses and governed us. Everyone wants a piece of the regional cake.

This is the sad truth.

We say the alphabet went to the world, out of our shores, but we are now in a state of descent into darkness.

Even to get a decent graduate education, youth travel abroad. We could have been stronger in pharmacy, with its beginnings in our area and all those herbs. We now import medication and do not produce drugs and medical supplies. Corruption has prevented discovery and moving forward in pharmaceutical sciences.

The whole world has moved forward and surpassed us. In contrast, we stopped moving forward.

Of course, we still have some good things like our hospitality and our culture, etc. But what a loss of potential!

Yes, we have improved in some areas but mainly superficially. We lost the deep matters, sadly”.

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