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Mother of Disasters in Lebanon

Mother of Disasters in Lebanon

Thursday, 6 August, 2020 - 11:45
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

So many terrorist incidents and explosions took place over the past decades, that only a few remain unyieldingly stuck in our minds. The world remembers very well the images of the nuclear bomb that hit Hiroshima well, as well as the moment the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11. There is no exaggeration in saying that the catastrophic scenes of the explosion in Port of Beirut are no different from them. It will stay on our minds for a long time, not only because of the suffering it left behind as thousands of innocents were killed or injured, but also because it will be a real turning point for this devastated country. The mother of Lebanon’s disasters, not a term used here to repeat the famous phrase, what comes after the bombing will not be the same as what had been before it, but, rather, to say that if the Lebanese are not awakened by the worst disaster in the country's modern history, they will never wake up. If the time has not yet come for ending the vicious cycle that has been ravaging the country for years, it will never come.

How tragic for the Lebanese to wake up to an explosion caused by materials equivalent to 1,800 tons of highly explosive "TNT" that had been stored at a Hezbollah site in an area full of civilians. The Lebanese found out that this extremely dangerous substance had not been stored near the Israeli border to be used in the battle to "liberate Jerusalem", which Hezbollah’s slogans promise. Instead, they had been procured in order to strike the stability of Lebanon and the Lebanese and for regional and international terrorist activity. The huge explosion did not only shake Beirut. It shook the minds of all the Lebanese, making them realize that this is the norm and its opposite is the exception.

What is forthcoming is worse than the explosion at the port so long Hezbollah is imposed as the ruler and leader of the state by the political game, choosing the president, appointing the cabinet, managing it, occupying its ports and deciding its political positions, all with the help of its majority in the representative assembly. On top of all that, it is confronting America, Europe, and the Arab states. What kind of grim future awaits Lebanon then?!

The explosion of almost nuclear proportions that hit the port, shaking the entire country, is not the only disaster. Lebanon’s real catastrophe is its lack of friends. Its Hezbollah controlled government is hostile to everyone and has isolated itself from everyone. No one wants to cooperate with Iranian proxies any longer, so they disengaged and left Lebanon in the dark, waiting for it to become a normal country again. Yet it is hoped that the world saves Lebanon. How can a country that is led by a terrorist party and helps it achieve its project be saved? How are we to deal with a party that is pushing its citizens to their death and playing with their lives to succeed in its endless adventures?

The solution for Lebanon will not be attained through an investigative committee that investigates with everyone but Hezbollah, its tools, and those subservient to it. The solution will not be achieved by waiting for salvation from abroad. Global sympathy, no matter how strong, will be temporary. The prescription for curing Lebanon of its cancer is short: inside before outside. If the Lebanese do not rid themselves of this cancer, which has spread throughout their country, no foreign power will be able to help them.

Facing up to Hezbollah is certainly not easy, and its cost would be high. No one can blame the weaker faction for its inability to defy the more powerful one, but it is one of only two potential scenarios. The other, even harsher and more difficult, is that the country collapses and Hezbollah’s infrastructure collapses with it, after which saving the country becomes less costly than it is currently. Between these two scenarios, each harder than the other, the country will continue to reel from one disaster after another until God puts an end to it. In any case, this means nothing more than an endless series of catastrophes that will only stop once the state stands on the ruins of Hezbollah.

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