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‘Decades of rot at every level of Lebanon’s institutions destroyed Beirut’s port, much of the city, and far too many lives. It is precisely the banality behind the explosion that captures the particular punishment and humiliation heaped on Lebanon.’

There is a pervasive culture of negligence, petty corruption and blame-shifting endemic to the Lebanese bureaucracy, all overseen by a political class defined by its incompetence and contempt for the public good… Emergency aid will only magnify public humiliation and helplessness. Yesterday’s explosion made clear that Lebanon is no longer a country where decent people can live secure and fulfilling lives.

A very angry opinion piece that wisely keeps its anger under control. But just barely.


Another opinion piece, Washington Post:

[N]o one in government, no one with any responsibility for the care and well-being of Lebanon and its people, cares. They never have... People in government have brazenly stolen millions. The latest banking collapse had many reasons, but primarily it happened because we had a unified government that decided it was time to empty out the national bank and central reserves. Most parts of Lebanon have been getting no more than two or three hours of electricity a day because certain members of parliament have companies making millions selling and maintaining generators. Because of the lack of maintenance of the sewage system, the Lebanese are swimming in crap, literally...

We had a civil war that ended only when all the sides figured they could steal a lot more money if they cooperated.


A third.

The Lebanese people have long suffered as a consequence of the actions and behavior of venal, incompetent individuals; of power-hungry politicians, businesspeople, and shadowy figures, and of geopolitical actors who have made the country their plaything at the expense of good governance… It’s not fate causing Lebanon’s tragedy. Perhaps the shared anger over this event can bring the Lebanese together to push back against the incompetent and the greedy, the functionaries, politicians, and outside players, who have hijacked their country and created conditions for the Lebanese people’s never-ending tragedy; admittedly a monumental task.


We’re detecting a theme.

[E]vil has taken the form and character of a non-sovereign, irresponsible, criminal state that is hostile to its own population and the cultural urban fabric that makes Beirut a unique Mediterranean city.

… The prospect of a new uprising in the immediate aftermath of this incident is far fetched. But we should not delude ourselves into believing that this brutal, criminal state will succeed in making its populace a lifeless corpse.

Margaret Soltan, August 5, 2020 10:06AM
Posted in: good writing

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