Lebanon: When Corruption Discovers the Virtues of Justice
Lebanon: When Corruption Discovers the Virtues of Justice
Among the most interesting landmarks in the life of any country, whose people delude themselves that they were living in a normal “state”, is when its government goes to war against one of its most senior civil servants. This is exactly what happened last week when the de facto rulers of Lebanon held Riad Salameh, the Governor of Lebanon’s Central Bank, responsible for the horrific financial and economic collapse.
The fact is that this collapse is but yet another advanced step in Hezbollah’s “creeping coup”, aimed at taking over Lebanon and annexing it to the “Iranian Crescent”. This is now taking place after the pro-Tehran militia had already imposed its candidate as president, and its electoral law, which would guarantee a secure parliamentary majority protected by its illegitimate weapons.
In any case, many things may change between now and next November, under the welter of COVID-19 and its repercussions. Many facts are expected to emerge, many calculations may take shape, and many priorities may impose themselves, whether here in the Middle East or the world at large.
Rarely has the world been so helpless and confused as it is before the COVID-19 threat, while the decision-makers in the world’s major powers are having difficulty in choosing between saving lives and saving the economy.
I shall not discuss Russia and China’s policies in this instance, hoping to do that later, but I will deal now with what is happening in western Europe and the US.
In Europe, all is not well, where there are no firm signs that it is past the worst, or that its countries are well prepared to contain the second wave of the pandemic next autumn. Moreover, in the midst of peoples’ worries and businesses pains, many in several countries feel that the “European Identity” itself is in doubt, especially in those countries where utra-nationalist and secessionist forces have been emboldened by the UK’s leaving of the EU. Indeed, some go further to say that among the most dangerous factor brought by the endemic to the fore is that the Euroskeptics feel that some European countries “let down” others in their time of need.
As for the US, we all know that it is in a presidential election year. This particular election year is really exceptional, not only because the country is suffering in terms of lives lost and economic difficulties, but also politically (and constitutionally) given the contradicting approaches between the federal government and many several governors. This is why the daily press briefing, held by President Donald Trump and his task crisis force, is looking more and more like political duels between the right-wing president and his enemies in the liberal media. Worse still for Trump, is that latest opinion polls show that he is trailing his Democratic presidential challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, significantly, in certain swing states.
So, the two major western powers are not in great shape.
Given the above, Iran is quite aware of what is going on, and is working hard to exploit the situation even though it has been in a race against economic collapse for years. For decades, the Tehran regime has grown used to adjusting to hardships and running away from its internal problems by starting external adventures and exploiting regional and international contradicting interests, and temporary conflicts inside neighboring countries in order to further its ambitions.
Today, the “lobbies” financed by the regimes and some of its regional allies in the Arab world, Europe, and even in the heart of Washington DC, lament the international community’s “depriving” the Iranian people of relief and aid. Yet, those leaders, politicians and media, who are defending the Tehran regime totally ignore the fact that the real culprit, who is robbing the Iranian people of their national wealth, is the sectarian militaristic gang that is plundering Iran’s resources and siphoning them in a military machine with limitless aggressive ambitions.
It is clear that Iranian leaders are betting on a change in the White House next November. We know that their henchmen enjoy a strong presence inside the Democratic Party, compared with an almost complete Arab absence, which is politically costly.
The fact of the matter is that the Iranian leaders do not care about the suffering of their people as long as the branch of their Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) is taking over Lebanon, their militias are squandering Iraq’s resources and the United Nations ignores the aggression of the Houthi militias in Yemen, all along while maintaining beneficial economic, military and political relations with China and Russia
Those leaders in Tehran have forced the Iranian people to accept backwardness, illusions, and sectarian and revolutionary slogans. They have also succeeded in “domesticating” a good percentage of this wronged and abused people. Unfortunately, their “students” are perpetrating the same thing in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and even Gaza where they ruined the economy, corrupted society, destroyed coexistence, and distorted the culture and identity.
Almost all international reports speak about the bad economic situation in Iran, its long-term oil agreement with China and its continued military cooperation with Russia. However, while the commanders of the IRGC continue their boasting about its military prowess and “innovations”, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, along with his “lobbies” direct the “soft power” alternative outside Iran, using misleading diplomatic propaganda.
Yes, Iran is in a race against time. It is a race between internal collapse and favorable political changes abroad, while its leaders pursue the same strategy, which they have mastered, and for which they have no other alternatives.
Everywhere the Tehran regime have succeeded in imposing its influence, its henchman have applied the same concepts and priorities. Everywhere Tehran’s puppets have won control, they destroyed its institutions and replaced them with copies of the “Khomeinist Revolution” with all its branches and financial, military and intelligence networks. Everywhere, pro-Tehran banners have been raised, the legitimate state fell, and a “statelet” replaced it under the leadership of a local “guide” that governs in the name of Iran’s “Supreme Guide”.
Today, as the Lebanese people suffer under the severe economic and financial crisis, and are threatened by COVID-19, they know that only a handful of their “leaders” are above suspicion. Worse still, while some of them have been the main cause and mainstay of corruption, and the avowed enemies of the justice system, they are now the loudest lecturers about honesty and the leading admirers of justice.