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Lebanon is a Failing State and Breeding Ground for Terrorism
The whole world is watching with justifiable anger and revulsion at the death and destruction of Ukrainian citizens and cities at the hands of Russia. Rightfully so. Yet, for almost 55 years, very few reports addressed the slow but relentless death of the state of Lebanon at the hands of Islam and the mythical so-called ‘Palestinians.’
Because most Americans do not know Lebanon’s history, I shall share with you a resume so that you can comprehend this disaster.
To start with, Lebanon (from Hebrew; Laban meaning White) is mentioned 65 times in the Bible as the name of a mountain – mountain range – NOT a state. There were no Lebanese citizens until 1920 when the current boundaries were established.
Mount Lebanon grew tall cedar trees that King Solomon used for the erection of the Temple in Jerusalem. It was only much later that Isaiah’s prophecy (29.17): ”. . . and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest.”
The coastal plain of Lebanon is the historic home of a string of coastal trading cities of Semitic culture, which the Greeks termed Phoenicia (Purple dye), whose maritime culture flourished there for more than 1,000 years.
Ancient ruins in Byblos, Berytus (Beirut), Sidon, and Tyre show a civilized nation with urban centers and sophisticated arts.
Phoenicia was a cosmopolitan maritime center for many nations and cultures. Phoenician art, customs, and religion reveal considerable Mesopotamian and Egyptian influences.
In 64 BCE, the Roman Empire conquered the region, and it eventually became among the empire’s leading centers of Christianity.
Lebanon was conquered by the Muslim Ottoman Empire in the 16th century and remained under its rule for the next 400 years.
The Maronite Catholic and the Druze founded modern Lebanon in the early eighteenth century through the ruling and social system known as the “Maronite-Druze dualism.”
Following the Ottoman Empire’s collapse after World War I (1914-19), the five Ottoman provinces constituting modern-day Lebanon came under the French Mandate for Syria and Lebanon. Under which its French-ruled predecessor, the state of Greater Lebanon, was established.
Lebanon was initially relatively stable. Following the invasion and occupation of the French Third Republic by Nazi Germany during World War II, French rule over the region weakened. Upon gaining its independence from Free French in 1943, Lebanon established a unique Confessional (religiously based) form of government, with the state’s major religious sects being apportioned specific political powers.
This stability was short-lived and was ultimately shattered by the outbreak of large-scale fighting in the Lebanese Civil War (1975-90) between various political and sectarian groups and factions.
During this period, Lebanon was also subjected to overlapping foreign military occupations by Syria from 1976 to 2005 and by Israel from 1985 to 2000.
Since the end of the war, extensive efforts have been made to revive the economy and rebuild the national infrastructure.
The diversity of the Lebanese population played a notable role in the lead-up to and during the conflict: Sunni Muslims and Christians comprised the majority in the coastal cities; Shia Muslims were primarily based in the south and the Bekaa Valley in the east; the Druze and Christians populated the country’s mountainous areas. The Lebanese government had been run under the significant influence of elites within the Maronite Christian community.
The connection between politics and religion had been reinforced under the French Mandate from 1920 to 1943, and the country’s parliamentary structure favored a leading position for its Christian-majority population.
However, the country had a sizeable Muslim population to match, and many pan-Arab and Leftist groups opposed the Christian-dominated pro-Western government.
What started the slow but relentless destruction of Lebanon was a massive influx of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians after the failed attempt by six Arab states to destroy the newly established State of Israel in the 1948 war that produced the Arab Refugees, which has been festering for the last 72 years and continuing.
Another attempt by the Arabs to exterminate Israel failed once more in 1967. The Six Days War contributed to the shift of Lebanon’s demography in favor of the Muslim population by adding tens of thousands more Muslim refugees to Lebanon.
The Cold War had a powerful disintegrative effect on Lebanon, which was closely linked to the political polarization that preceded the 1958 Lebanese crisis. Christians sided with the Western world while leftist, Muslim, and pan-Arab groups sided with Soviet-aligned Arab countries.
During the 1960s, Lebanon was relatively calm, but this would soon change. Fatah and other Palestinian Liberation Organization factions had long been active among the 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanese camps. Throughout the 1960s, the center for armed Palestinian activities had been in Jordan, but they were forced to relocate after being evicted by King Hussein during the Black September in Jordan.
With obscene degrees of ingratitude and treachery, Fatah and other Palestinian groups attempted to mount a coup in Jordan by incentivizing a split in the Jordanian army. Jordan, however, responded and expelled the forces into Lebanon.
When they arrived, they created “a State within the State.” The Lebanese government did not welcome this action, which shook Lebanon’s fragile sectarian climate.
Two Muslim groups contribute to the destruction of the Lebanese state. The Hezbollah Shia Muslims of the Bekaa valley and the south – proxies of the terrorist anti-Arab Ayatollahs of Iran – and the treasonous, invariably disloyal ingrate Palestinians who were ultimately exiled by almost every Arab country that gave them safety to start with, such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and even Lebanon.
Hezbollah, being a Shiite dominated political-cum-militant outfit since its creation in 1984, is known for its subservience to Iran. Over the years, it has grown as a significant political force and confessional political system that has helped it further to become a formidable actor amid increasing sectarianism of the Lebanese political sphere and inevitable coalition politics.
For more than a decade, Hezbollah has become a powerful force that enables it to form governments, facilitate their work or paralyze them, and cause them to resign as well. Both of these Muslim groups became the suppliers of Hashish, Opium, illegal arms, and other nefarious acts for all of the Middle East and Europe.
When Lebanon was ruled under majority Christian governments, it became the Jewel of the Middle East and the desired destination by most Arabs and Europeans. All of this started to decline due to the Lebanese Civil War (1975-90), which was a multifaceted armed conflict resulting in an estimated 120,000 fatalities and the exodus of a million Lebanese to other countries.
Fighting between Maronite-Christian and Palestinian forces (mainly from the Palestine Liberation Organization) began in 1975 because the Palestinians – as they attempted in Jordan and Kuwait – became a ‘state within the state’ terrorizing the Christians and undermining Lebanon’s security and stability.
Muslim and pan-Arab Lebanese groups formed an alliance with the Palestinians in this war, further undermining the stability and viability of the state.
For the last 55 years, hundreds of thousands of Christian Lebanese left for other Western countries because they had no prospect of a good future under extremely corrupt and dysfunctional governments.
The Lebanese ‘government’ is currently dominated entirely by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the Shia Lebanese cleric who is Iran’s proxy terror leader in Lebanon. Nothing political, social, military, or economic that happens in Lebanon can be achieved without Nasrallah’s permission. He is backed up by Shia militias that are more numerous and better armed than the Lebanese army.
Nasrallah is so powerful that not even the UN forces used to separate Lebanon from Israel dare confront him for installing tens of thousands of rockets and missiles in or very near civilian areas – schools, mosques, hospitals, and homes – trained against Israel.
With typical Muslim cowardice – as proven by Hamas, PLO, ISIS, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, and other Muslim terror groups – they invariably use civilians to shield their military assets so that when Israel or the West retaliate, they will be accused of War Crimes for bombarding civilians. This is, of course, a very cunning but dastardly win-win propaganda situation for them.
As you read this article, the current Lebanese turmoil seems to be the tragic culmination of the pursuit of exclusive politics by different political outfits.
It is the current reflection of the Lebanese people’s growing disillusionment with the decadent political system, the poor governance of previous regimes, the Hezbollah Beirut blast, open sectarian clashes, the repeated blame game among different parties, the absence of central authority for over a year and the worsening economic performance, have further added to this crisis.
All these, put together, brought Lebanon to a stage where one can see Lebanon as an example of a failing state.
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