Reuters: “Hezbollah says it opposes IMF management of Lebanon crisis”

As reported in the article above, Hezbollah opposes the IMF bailout, which assists countries that are on the brink of failure or bankruptcy, in return of implementing specific conditions meant to put government finances on a sustainable track and restore growth.

It is disappointing, yet not surprising, that the Hezbollah would refuse the conditions of reforms and accountability attached to the IMF rescue plan. Instead, it only gave the green light for a “technical help/financial counselling” by this international organization.

If you were part of an organized militia and/or a political entity like the Hezbollah, whose funder (i.e., Iran) is under economic sanctions, would you accept external barriers imposed on potential sources of funding of your activities?

Of course not.

Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese fabric, true. It is perhaps no more corrupt than the rest of other Lebanese political leaders. However, it is clearly the most powerful (and potentially destructive!) force in the country.

Sad to see how far it has pushed Lebanon in the direction of war and warrior mindset, both on the military and economic levels. It has taken Lebanon hostage of its own radical political agenda. The latter is rooted in its loyalty to its external funder, and ideological master, that is the Iranian regime.

In the article above, we can see a picture that is quite symbolic and read under it: “An Iranian carries the Iranian and Hezbollah flags during the commemoration of the 41st anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Tehran, Iran February 11, 2020. Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency)”—“via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY”.

We can also read the following statement within the text:

“We will not accept submitting to (imperialist) tools … meaning we do not accept submitting to the International Monetary Fund to manage the crisis,” said Hezbollah’s Sheikh Naim Qassem, deputy leader of the heavily armed Shi’ite group.”

The word “imperialist” is obviously directed at the United States.

Two comments here: (1) What about the Iranian imperialism in the region? Why is OK to submit to it and not to the tough conditions of the IMF? And (2) How funny that the language used by the Hezbollah is comparable to the style of language of our domestic radical left (this is for another post ?).

To come back to Lebanon, what is next for this heavily indebted country?  

Some, like the President of the Lebanese Republic, are excited by the recent drilling off Lebanon to finally begin the exploration of oil and gas, after years of delays. He even called this day “historic” (he may be right, even if he often seems to live on a different planet called “Hezbollistan”):

Clearly, the country needs to diversify its economy; now that its banking sector was hit hard by the crisis.

Perhaps this new economic sector carries hope indeed?

In a bankrupt country, such new development is usually a piece of good news that could perhaps eventually help lift the population out of poverty.

In the case a Lebanon that is resistant to change and reforms, what does all this mean, especially that past behaviours are known to be the best predictor of future ones? This applies to corrupt actions as well.

Anyhow, even if the future of Lebanon will be brighter because of this drilling, whom will be benefiting from a potential source of richness? Will it be the same entity/ties who benefited from a pervasive corrupt system coupled with a crying lack of accountability?

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