GHASSAN KADI’s thoughts on anti-Syrian rhetoric coming from sectors of society in Lebanon.*
The traditional Lebanese Left and Right and their followers are united in venting out their anger against the alleged illegal transport of fuel and subsidized wheat flour from Lebanon to Syria. According to their reports, which I haven’t been able to confirm the validity of, truck loads of the above are being stolen away from the Lebanese people who are suffering immensely under rising high costs of living and devastating financial ruin, and transported to Syria to “support the Assad regime.”
To this effect, I would say that I have not seen what either the Lebanese Left or Right were complaining about when the trucks of takfiri fighters, their equipment, weapons and ammunition were moving daily from northern and eastern Lebanon into Syria, unaccounted for, carrying tons of bombs, missiles, explosives and thousands of those who responded to the Wahhabi call for jihad from all corners of the earth under the pretext of revolution, liberation and reform. As a matter of fact, they have blessed these shipments and supported them in private and in public.
Left and Right wing Lebanese Muslims and Christians did not complain about the danger of ISIS when they carried the slogan of overthrowing Assad, even if this ultimately led to ISIS reaching Bkerkie; the headquarters of the Maronite Church.
Lebanon’s traditional Christians leaders and Churches did not raise any alarms when ISIS and Al-Nusra were abducting Syrian monks and destroying churches. Some of those churches were actually very ancient, and should have world heritage listing.
Ironically, those screaming now remember the excesses of corrupt Syrian officers and individuals during the presence of Syrian forces in Lebanon from 1976 to 2005. It is true that there were corrupt Syrian elements that took the law in their own hands, but those crying today forget that if the Syrian Army had not entered Lebanon, the sectarian bloodshed would have continued and perhaps entire communities would have been wiped out.
No, and the ungrateful ones among the Lebanese did not stop for a moment to remember that Syria had opened her doors to them when they had been turned into refugees repeatedly for half a century. Likewise, they do not remember that if it were not for the smuggling of supplies from Syria to Lebanon in the time of the famine imposed by the brutal Ottoman Turkey on the Lebanese at the time of ‘Safar Barlik’ ie WWI, many more thousands of Lebanese would have perished from starvation.
And how do the Lebanese forget the exodus of thousands of Syrian businessmen in the 1950s and 1960s to Lebanon, carrying with them their vast wealth, gold, silver, capital and expertise to Lebanon?
But what is ironic is that the rascals who head Lebanese politics and their followers, the successors of the same ones who have destroyed Lebanon and destroyed its society, infrastructure, economy and humanitarian foundations, are the same ones who stand today cursing and crying over the smuggling of fuel trucks from Lebanon to Syria; this is provided that such transport of goods is really happening.
*From a Facebook post. Ghassan Kadi, a native of Beirut, is an analyst of Middle East affairs for this blog and the author of An Epic of Integrity: The Chronicles of the War on Syria (June 2016). Visit Intibah and Ghassan Kadi’s website.