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Kordahism, Not Kordahi

Kordahism, Not Kordahi

Wednesday, 3 November, 2021 - 09:15

Within axis of resistance circles in Lebanon, an argument has been circulating: to defend Information Minister Kordahi is to defend freedom of speech, while to attack him is to attack freedom of speech.

That is not true. Freedom of opinion and speech is the right of Kordahi and anyone else, whomever they may be and whatever their opinion is. However, those with opinions like that of Kordahi should not be handed ministerial positions in countries like Lebanon. That is true for every country in the world, whether it is democratic or not: no country appoints someone known for an opinion that undermines their country’s supreme national interests. This principle applies particularly strongly given today’s circumstances, with international and regional polarization at its height, rendering the appointment of ministers with opinions like those of Kordahi akin to taking sides in a war.

Indeed, appointing Kordahi minister is a valid decision under one circumstance, if his state was hostile, or perhaps at war, with the state the minister in question hates. Once we factor in what former minister Charbel Wehbe had said - while he (unlike Kordahi) was a minister - it becomes fair to raise the question: is Lebanon hostile, even at war, with the Gulf states?

By extension, we can add another question based on the successive Western sanctions imposed on prominent Lebanese figures, including the President of the Republic’s son-in-law Gebran Bassil: have we decided we are on unfriendly terms, and perhaps war, with the United States and Western European countries?

Kordahi, who is no freedom of speech advocate, by the way, is a trivial detail. The reasons for why he should not be appointed are not limited to the reason in question. What matters, at the end of the day, is Kordahism. What is Kordahism? It is the latest version of the policy of ensuring Christian cover for the strategy of undermining Lebanon’s interests and its relations. Bassilism is one version. Lahoudism is another. Hobiekism is a version. Syrian Nationalism is a version. Frangiesm is a version… With Kordahi, this vulgarity peaks.

Hezbollah stands behind that destructive project today; as for those who grant it Christian cover, they make up for their limited support within their sect by competing to present those services. However, their going so far stems from the extent of the difficulty of the task at hand. Turning Kordahi into a hero speaks to this eloquently.

Once, after a long period of “Christian marginalization,” the task seemed simple because insanity seemed to be in demand. A deep sense of frustration called for it. Thus, Aounism managed to flip traditional Christian positions on Hezbollah, Assad’s Syria and Iran, as well as Arabs and the West on their head. It left two-thirds of the country’s Christians embracing a program that goes against what Lebanon stands for and the function it traditionally fulfilled.

Now, things are different: the increasingly popular conviction that Hezbollah’s weapons are linked to the ongoing economic collapse, then the explosion at the Port of Beirut, and most recently, the bloody events in Tayyouneh and Ain al-Rummaneh… All of that is starting to put things back in order. The dramatic decline in support for the Aounists, on the eve of a likely general election, confirms this. The expansion of Hezbollah’s influence and the escalation of its demands, which have become extremely coarse, are amplifying their helplessness and mortification. The dissolution of Aoun’s “strong reign” and its evident weakness are dispelling all illusions.

We are thus witnessing, today, Aounism’s transformation from its moment of Bashirst popularity to that of Lahoudist popularity.

However, what are the pillars of this approach, the latest wretched manifestation of which is Kordahism?

- Affirming that Lebanon is a country of resistance and that its resistance movement, Hezbollah, is that country’s real decision-maker and army. Turning positions of power into facades: the presidency is left to some Kordahist and the army and other security forces are only nominally responsible for security. If furthering the resistance’s interests requires applying pressure on the judiciary, then so be it.

- Good relations with Arab countries can be summed up in good ties with Syria and, by extension, Iran! Stand with Assad against Saudi Arabia, the rest of the Gulf, Egypt, Morocco, and the others… and you are a good Arab. Stand with the others, and you are an isolationist hostile to Arabs.

- Relations with the outside world can bypass the United States and Western Europe. Russia is a strong possibility. China is another. The axis’ conventional wisdom is that the world’s paths lead to Israel, so it is best to avoid them and bask in our isolation.

- A cultural supplement could be added to those principles: political success and failure are not evaluated according to quantifiable achievements (economy, health, education…). They are measured according to how much “pride” they imbue, for “life is but a stand for dignity,” as the morbid rhetorical phrase popular these days goes. Glorifying poverty, illness, war and illiteracy is part of this “dignity.”

This nonsense requires heroes and symbols, and Mr. Kordahi could thus be nominated to become more than a minister. Kordahism has come to symbolize a new Lebanon with a military helmet atop its head and its bare feet stuck in thorns.

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