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A country in freefall: What future for Lebanon?


Hezbollah


Hariri
Rafiq Hariri
al-Assad
Karim Safieddine
Azza el-Masri
Al Jazeera


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Positivity     40.00%   
   Negativity   60.00%
The New York Times
SOURCE: http://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/7/19/a-country-in-freefall-what-future-for-lebanon
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Summary

Enticing expats to invest, let alone move back, will take far more than a few pledges of reform.And then there are the pessimists, dark as they may be at times.Some reckon sectarian leaders are allowing the situation to deteriorate further in order to get their followers to coalesce behind them before they lose their prestige and influence.They reckon the mindset that dragged the country to civil war in 1975 continues to thrive in the country’s present sectarian system.In fact, the sceptics fear that as the economy implodes and the situation spirals out of control, violent conflict may well follow.And last but not least, there are those, let us call them the “pessimi-optimists”, who hope for a grand bargain among regional and Western powers following the settling of the Iran nuclear deal; one that includes a political settlement in Lebanon, paving the way for greater regional, notably Saudi and Gulf interest and investment.While this rather far-fetched bargain may calm the situation in the short term, it will only postpone the implosion, while consolidating all that is historically wrong with Lebanon.That is why, the way forward cannot be the way back.In fact, there is no viable alternative for a radical Lebanese solution to Lebanon’s debilitating debacle.This entails the people in the streets and civil society activists turning their popular and civic power into political power by organising non-sectarian political parties, and helping democratically change the despicable sectarian system that is at the centre of the country’s woes, in favour of a true Republic of Lebanon.This may be hard and may take long to accomplish, but there are no shortcuts and no easy magical solutions to building a functioning democracy.Even then, even after democracy and reform are set in motion, there are no guarantees that Lebanon will shed its sectarianism or become prosperous, or that Beirut will recover its oomph and mystic in light of deepening regional crises and scathing cosmopolitan competition.But then again, crises are great opportunities for real change.

As said here by Marwan Bishara