Goodbye, Lebanon
Opinion

Goodbye, Lebanon

It’s cold yet sunny on this Christmas morning. Standing outside, I’m surrounded by a squadron of winged insects. Dots of light, they hover and meander in air tirelessly. Like drunk pinballs, they jerk, dance and bounce down invisible grooves, and around unseen obstacles. No, they’re more like ponderous thoughts. (Your jumped-up synapses are but flying…

Who is Destroying Lebanon and Why?
Opinion

Who is Destroying Lebanon and Why?

Within a few months, Lebanon, often misrepresented as “the only Arab democratic state” or even as the “Switzerland of the Middle East,” has collapsed. Successively, popular demonstrations against the political class (October 2019), a banking crisis (November 2019), a health crisis (July 2020), an explosion at the port of Beirut (August 2020) caused a sudden…

The US Plan for Weakening Hezbollah: a Civil War and the Exodus of the Christians
Opinion

The US Plan for Weakening Hezbollah: a Civil War and the Exodus of the Christians

The Christian political and religious leaders of Lebanon are theologically distant from Twelver Shia; they have political and ideological objectives that fundamentally differ from those of Hezbollah. Gebran Bassil, the Leader of the larger Christian Parliamentary Group “Al tayyar al-watani al-Hurr” (Free Patriotic Movement – FPM) made this clear last Sunday in a televised statement…

Lebanon Crisis: The Long Arm of French Neocolonialism Is Back
Opinion

Lebanon Crisis: The Long Arm of French Neocolonialism Is Back

Lebanese politicians are scrambling at home and security chiefs are conferring abroad to form a new government in line with French-set deadlines. The new government is expected to embody a new political pact called for by French President Emmanuel Macron during his first visit to Beirut after the deadly port explosion on 4 August.  Macron…

The Comparisons Between Lebanon’s Civil War and America’s Situation Now Are a Step Too Far
Opinion

The Comparisons Between Lebanon’s Civil War and America’s Situation Now Are a Step Too Far

Time was in the 1990s, even after 2000, that any country in danger of political chaos or “implosion” – a word I still instinctively loath, along with “epicentre” – was in danger of being “Lebanised”.   Djibouti would become “the Beirut of the Horn of Africa” and the Balkans, inevitably, subject to “Lebanonisation”. For a…