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A Drop of Humility and Complicity

A Drop of Humility and Complicity

Monday, 15 June, 2020 - 10:15
Ghassan Charbel
Ghassan Charbel is the editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

The Libyans are lost. They cannot predict when Libya will return to itself. Internal battles, mixed with imported wars, do not bode well.


Ghassan Salame tried, in vain, to persuade local players to conspire in order to reclaim their country from regional and international actors. He tried to convince the fighters and the conflicting parties. He held talks, drafted articles and organized conferences… The Libyans were dragged to the Berlin clinic to be examined by international senior doctors. All of that didn’t work. Salame left the stage, which was further inflamed by the open appetite of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime.


The Libyans are lost, so is the country itself. How hard it is for foreign flags to multiply on your land and for the fires to intensify. How hard it is to see militia weapons proliferate and mercenaries spread. The feast of oil and gas increases internal hatreds and external grudges.


It is a painful yet common story. You start with an internal race over decision-making. The ambition to monopolize power and eliminate the other leads to war. In war, aid and alliances are bound to lead quickly to dependence.


The local player is under the illusion that he is getting stronger as he reaches out to an ally outside the map. He forgets that he is the weaker party and that his ally would soon turn him into a soldier and a servant for his agenda. External powers were never charities, even if covered with ideological fig leaves or something similar.


The Libyans are lost. They have no emergency number to call. Nothing justifies contacting the Arab League. Its good intentions are matched by its lack of potential. There is no point in resorting to the African Union; it acts like a retired wise man. Guterres, despite his efforts, does not seem to be able to save a country whose people had not yet agreed to save themselves.


What has Libya done to be tormented for four long decades under the colonel, his revolution and his Green Book? What has it done to be tortured under the colonel’s successors and then becomes a field of experiments for the weapons and policies of exploitative policies? What is Libya’s fault for letting the world allow the Turkish president to pump mercenaries into its veins, and let the “Kremlin master” interfere with it as well?


Libya is sailing in tormented seas, while its fighters lack a drop of humility and collusion that helps them regain their map from the hands of external players.


The Syrians, too, are lost. The Syrian fate is put on hold. Millions of them have lost hope in the refugee camps, while others, at home, fear the beast of hunger as the local currency was hit hard and panic mounted on the eve of the implementation of the Caesar Act.


A powerful Syria fell into the trap of those who are stronger. Many proxy wars are taking place on its soil against its will, and many truces are concluded without consulting it. The Russian master is controlling the Israeli raids, the Iranian expansion and the Turkish interferences. He is about to discuss, with the American general, the country’s future, with the absence of the latter.


External powers are not charities. They only coexist on a map to control its oil, its wheat and its water. Despite all the devastation that occurred, the Syrians did not show a drop of humility and collusion that helped them launch the journey to regain their map and return Syria to itself.


It’s even crueler to hear that the fate of Syria will remain unknown, pending the crystallization of the future of US-Iranian relations and that of Turkey’s regional role. Those are very tough words. Syria, which is trapped by armies, militias and flags, will see the poor, the hard-liners and the extremists increase in numbers, if it fails to become a normal country again.


The Lebanese too, are lost. They say that the Lebanese fate is also dependent on the future of relations between Washington and Tehran. The months leading up to the US presidential election will not be easy. The presidents recognized that their powers are limited to sharing seats in a ruined state, while the fate of the state itself is left to a game greater than theirs.


The Lebanese are currently subjected to all kinds of humiliation that they did not encounter even during the darkest chapters of war.


With all due respect to the positions and their residents, and regardless of the concessions that led them to those positions, the smell of failure surrounds official headquarters. Officials have failed to address the humiliated citizens. They have failed to talk to the international community, throwing allegations and lies that ignored the lurking hunger.


It is a tragedy of men, who do not know their countries and do not know the world. Men, who lack humility in a country that does not allow such a number of egoists. Men, who lack the virtue of national complicity in a fragile country that cannot afford this high number of adventurers and teenagers.


Lebanon has no interest in the failure of the Michel Aoun term, but the latter has not succeeded in boarding the train and engaging its citizens in the journey. Lebanon has no interest in the failure of Hassan Diab’s government, but the latter’s little modesty suggests that he is almost isolated in the chaotic republic.


The Libyans need a drop of humility and collusion. The Syrians and Lebanese need the same treatment. The same applies for Iraq, where the poor are multiplying, while the country boasts amazing wealth but is threatened by the continued absence of a drop of humility and national complicity.


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