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Lebanese Surrealism - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The latest scenes from the Lebanese parliamentary elections portray an unprecedented absurd political situation. Incredibly surreal alliances are ruling the day, with the enemies of yesterday uniting and opposing political currents uniting. What a hilarious theatrical event!

For the sake of a few seats in the Lebanese Parliament, alliances are being formed between those were killing each other during the civil war, as if nothing had happened. Murderers are being transformed into freedom fighters and militia leaders are joining their blood stained hands with those of their victims. Those who held the banners opposing Syrian presence and demanding troops leave Lebanon are now exchanging smiles with Syria ’s traditional allies. Exiled leaders are returning to shake hands with the same people they accused of being foreign agents!

I don’t believe the current situation represents a comprehensive national reconciliation. Does it represent tolerance, forgiveness, and putting the past behind? Or, is it a new era of unexplainable alliances?

I think not.

Rather, I believe the current absurd situation is an indication of a deteriorating political climate and evidence of the absence of unwavering political beliefs. It is true that, in the world of politics, friendship and enmity come and go. What is currently happening across Lebanon , however, represents much more than that.

The allies of Israel , and those who fought alongside it, or received support from the Jewish State, are now the allied with the resistance movement. Others who masterminded political assassinations currently shake hands with their victim’s sons. Those who back Syria in the past nowadays join forces with self- styled enemies of the Assad regime. Is political corruption to blame for the decay of sectarian institutions with its slogans of reform and national unity?

There is a phenomenon characteristic of Lebanon that might go some way to explain this chaos. One government Minister recently threatened a former associate by signaling he was ready to lay his cards on the table, unless his colleague halted his criticism, warning he was ready to reveal the latter’s every secret.

Even the Lebanese President, Emile Lahoud said, a few days ago, that he will “expose the facts”.

At this point, one has to ask himself about these silent accusations and the covering up of important information on public issues and, in particular, corruption. Another question that needs to be addressed is whether corruption is rife in Lebanon and whether the country’s political elite is silent on the issue.

We all know that there are honest men who follow their principles and fight for freedom in Lebanon . But I fear this bread of men is becoming a rare occurrence in the currently surreal state of affairs.