After Jeddah, before Doha

After Jeddah, before Doha
After Jeddah, before Doha

home call

Rafik Khoury

What after the Arab summit in Jeddah and the bets of the Lebanese on it? Nothing of substance. Just waiting for another event in the endless waiting series. We are hostages of forces that are not at the top, which seems beyond our ability to untie our captivity. Hostages in a country that is driven by force to stop being itself, to become a crisis, not a country. A country controlled by a mafia that calls itself a ruler that protects the governor of the Central Bank, the coordinator of the theft of public and private money, who is wanted internationally by a French judicial decision, despite the fact that he has become a burden on the mafia, for fear that he will reveal the roles of politicians in the theft. An open geographical space for anyone who wants to play a role, whether by force or money.

The concept that every country is affected by external transformations and developments without stopping from constitutional entitlements and the functioning of institutions in order to preserve public order. But Lebanon is the only one that falls into a vacuum and stands in the open waiting for external changes, instead of ensuring the work of institutions and public order and waiting, so that it affects and is affected at the same time and is in a position that is not shaken by storms.

This is because a call from the Jeddah summit to the Lebanese leaders to hasten to elect a president for the republic is merely an invitation added to the daily internal, Arab and international calls without result. The wager on solutions for the return of the Syrian refugees collides with two obstacles: one is the position of the West that links the return of the refugees to a political settlement based on Resolution 2254, which is a condition for lifting sanctions and reconstruction, and thus the return of the refugees. Another is Damascus evading a political settlement, and repeatedly calling for the lifting of sanctions and reconstruction in preparation for the return of refugees, knowing that this is an impossible task without a political settlement.

More than that, saving Lebanon needs more than electing a president and finding some solution for the return of refugees. The minimum around which the presidential battle revolves is the division between two teams: one wants a president who completes the course that has been going on for years in deepening crises and employing them in the interest of the mafia on the road to a major regional project. Another insists on a president who will be a new beginning to reconfigure an authority capable of saving the country and building the state project. And there is no middle ground. There is no room for understanding, and there is no meaning for democratic competition if one party insists that its position is “fixed” and that of others is “changeable.” What is the point of electing a president through competition, which we call democratic, but who confronts half of the Lebanese, lacks Arab and international aid, and finds himself hostage?

Everyone knows that the game that the world tells us is left to the inside is practically both internal and external. And the external forces, like the internal forces, are clear and ambiguous at the same time, and they are not in one position. Qatar, which is said to be moving with US and Saudi support, has no chance of holding the “Doha-2 Conference”. And France, which chose in a critical situation: Greater Lebanon, which was born at its hands, and whose wisdom and knowledge it has changed, and the Lebanon that it recognizes and is currently supporting is “Iran.”

Churchill said, “Politics is not the art of the possible, but the art of the desire.” But politics in Lebanon is the clash of the art of the possible and the art of desire, which leads to non-politics.