Saturday, January 28, 2006

Squandered Opportunity

The more things change, the more they stay the same. This is especially true in Lebanon. In the time immediately after the death of the former Prime Minister Rafic Al Hariri, the Opposition and the citizens of Lebanon were all united in their desire to see real and tangible change in Lebanon. They were united in wanting Lebanon to be free of Syrian oppression. It seemed as though Lebanon was finally going to be free, finally going to realize its potential as a free and sovereign nation.

That was then, this unfortunately is now. With the anniversary of the assassination in less than two weeks (at this writing), the Opposition has splintered leaving the citizens who believed in them twisting in the wind. Not a single politician stuck to the promises they made during their many long winded speeches. Words are empty without action and once again the old guard in Lebanon has proven why they desperately need to be replaced.

Instead of a unified government working for the good of the whole country, we have politicians with the same mentality they have always had (the one that says ME FIRST), we have heroes turned traitors, we have people without leaders, we have violence breaking out between factions. In other words, we have a mess that will quickly turn into a catastrophe if not nipped in the bud.

Gebran Tueni’s death was the latest in a long line of tragic murders to hit Lebanon. After his death, it seemed like perhaps the Opposition was going to get it together again and begin to be cohesive. Unfortunately, that only lasted long enough for the press to get a good sound bite for the news. Once media attention waned, so did the co-operation of the Opposition members.

Making matters worse is the fact that the problems between the Politicians are spilling over into their supporters. Just last week supporters of Aoun and supporters of Geagea clashed in Jbeil with a clash between supporters of Hariri and the Amal Movement following soon after at the Lebanese University. Luckily, no one was seriously injured in these clashes but the point is they should never have happened. The Politicians should be loudly condemning any and all clashes between their supporters but instead, they are all strangely quiet.

Lebanon is at a great cross roads in it’s history right now. We are being presented with the opportunity to truly run our own country. We are being presented with the opportunity to live freely and in peace. Let’s not squander the opportunity and let’s not allow our politicians to squander it.


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