Thursday, March 23, 2006

Is there a difference?

Is there a difference between doing a foreigner's bidding and trying to do what you want with the assistance of a foreigner?

If there is a difference, which one is more eggregious? And, can we really determine who is doing what in Lebanon? Or is everybody doing both?

Finaly, are there foreign interventions that are more benign or malevolent than others? Can we make an argument that one power's intervention is more desirable than another? If so, how do we do so in the current climate that Lebanese are living in?

I ask these questions because, for me at least, the choices I have to make with regards to Lebanon zero around the regional and international powers. I find myself asking the question of: which powers would I prefer for Lebanon to be under the influence of?

I look forward to reading some of your answers.


What about me said...

For that you gotta ask the women which foreign powers they prefer to follow. As a woman, I wouldn't want Iran to come in the guise of help and make me wear a chador. I would prefer the Americans because they woudn't force me to change my clothes and turn me into an invisible shadowy non-being. I would love help for Lebanon from a power that will enhance its natural talents and attributes and not turn it back five thousand centuries when living in caves was not just for nutcases.

Jamal said...

Raja-It's not as simple as USA vs. Iran.
I think this is the sales pitch some of our politicians are banking on, but it ultimately comes down to our local leadership. They are the ones who will shape our future for the most part and foreign alliances will play a little to no role at all in the issues that really concern the people. Cause no foreign country gives a shit about our health, education, civil rights, etc... All they care for is our willingness to do their dirty work, and in that case there is no good choice.

Lazarus said...

why are we assuming that we don't have a third option?

Ecce Libanus said...

Raja, perhaps the question should be "what are the values that we, as a culture, uphold and cherish?" and in turn, "how will our alliances, interactions, and associations, with regional and international actors, friends and foes alike, affect these values?"

If, collectively, we want to go on living in the stunted obscurantist universe that Iran and her allies are pilfering, then continuing to wallow in these sorts of mediocre friendships would make sense to me. If, on the other hand, we are truly a pluralistic diverse lot, addicted to freedom, humanism, and the wheelings and dealings of those who preceeded us on Lebanon's mountains and shores, then we should have no compunctions dealing with the Devil is she were to guarantee our unhindered exercise of our God-given freedoms. If that Devil is America, then so be it! It beats the Syrian and Iranian "guardian angels" by leaps and bounds.

Anonymous said...

The reason we have to chose between one or the other is because we, the Lebanese, have the minority complex. Since everyone is a minority, they have to ally themselves with an outside power, such that their rights are preserved within. "ta ma 7adan ydee3 7a2o". And then it boils down to cultural alliances.

But I agree with Jamal... our problem is not who we are allying with. It is that our politicians are not doing anything more than worrying about how they can obtain that power. But once they have it, do they use it to benefit us? Ofcourse not...

Solomon2 said...

Of course there is a difference: in one case you are exercising your own will, and in the other case you are exercising his.

Don't fall into the pitiable trap of moral equivalence.

IMO, The mullahs wish to station nuclear-armed missiles in Lebanon. That will make Lebanon a military target but not Iran. Whether that makes Lebanese feel safe is not for me to decide.

You may be falling into the same trap as the previous generation did: for it is certain that the alliances between Lebanon's different ethnic groups with foreign powers severely aggravated the Civil War. You did not need me to tell you this, of course, but are there no other choices available to you?