Lebanon: Revolution against Hooligans
Lebanon: Revolution against Hooligans
Sixty-four days after it started, the revolution of dignity has dominated Lebanese spirit and has changed many traditions after it brought the majority of Lebanese social groups to the streets. These included many who had never thought of the possibility that the time will come where their first daily priority will be going to protest. They leave their houses equipped with a flag and a water bottle, some with masks as modest protection against tear gas, and all of them chanting “All of them means all of them” with female students and women on the frontlines in an attempt to separate security forces and the protest.
Despite the mass oppression suffered by the people and the lowest-income groups being burdened beyond their capacity, after more and more institutions shut down and dismissed their employees and unemployment reaching fifty percent of the working force, the squares have clung onto their enthusiasm and joy, and most importantly, hope. Hope in salvation from the sectarian farm called the state and taking back the civil state, the constitutional, legitimate, fair, and transparent state. This hope enhanced the citizens’ self-confidence, where they discovered that they no longer fear the finger raised against them, threats of civil war, or reproducing sectarian struggles. Since the revolution appeared to people as the most inclusive, powerful, and brightest of all experiences that the country has known. This is especially true after the accusations of foreign funding, treason, and conspiracies with embassies have been proven empty, and after the threats of returning to civil war have receded, with the responsibility of sectarian parties for the crisis becoming apparent. The Secretary-General of Hezbollah on December 13 revealed the regime’s confusion and the general inability to take any steps to confront the collapse, especially the worsening social crisis, he issued the beginning of a new phase in their confrontation of the peaceful revolution. His speech seemed like an order to commence the counter-revolution to take out the peaceful protesters and to end the demonstrations in the streets after he held the revolution responsible for everything the country had gone through, to the point where he claimed that the country was improving before October 16 and that the government was preparing reforms until October 17 suddenly came and interrupted the process.
There is no reason for surprise. Hezbollah seemed confused by the revolution and worried by the mass support the revolution received for its demand for an independent government that is trusted by the Lebanese people and the international community. The need for a government that stops the collapse and provides an independent judiciary to take back the peoples’ rights and sets an electoral law per the constitution that guarantees fair representation. In this context, the revolution snatched international support, as the Paris Conference called for the formation of an independent government that has a clean slate that is trustworthy and capable of implementing reforms. After they failed to hold the binding parliamentary consultations, and Hezbollah fueling hooliganism that was resisted on the 14th and 15th of this month, the response was an even more massive invasion on the 16th and 17th of December, the 15th consecutive invasion, and it reached Beirut, Saida, Nabatieh, Kfar Remen, Baalbek, and Fakha. In short, Nasrallah responded to the Lebanese people by saying, “It is up to me to decide, we will rule you as we please.”
Today, Lebanon is experiencing a vertical division between squares that have united the country and sparked a revolution promising happiness and the richness of diversity. The revolution isolated the political class accused of corruption. It broke stereotypes and boundaries that the sectarian forces wanted to impose on the Lebanese and Lebanon. The revolution is part of a second wave of Arab uprisings in Sudan, Algeria, and Iraq. It is a wave that put a Lebanese majority against the hooliganism of the broken allied forces of the past. That is, despite the strength of the mini-state that has become the fiercest defender of the sectarian regime after October 17 and the side that sponsors the regime and manages it and determines its function, and runs its looting of public funds. It is the protector of the dark economy that loots no less than a third of government revenue.
It is a moment of truth. The revolution’s goal was never to block roads nor to assemble in squares. These are all means that overthrew the government and forced it to cancel all taxes out of its 2020 budget. These are the means that closed down parliament twice, a parliament that betrays the voters’ will, that forced the withdrawal of three candidates for premiership accused of corruption, and proved to everyone that the Lebanese demands could not be met without deconstructing the sectarian regime. In a moment, the revolution put all sectarian forces under accusation: All of them means all of them. Now we see Saad Hariri, who had once promised 900,000 jobs joining Amal movement and Hezbollah duo, repeating his mantra of him being the savior. As for Samir Geagea, who spoke of a revolution that he started a long time ago in the government while confronting the revolution’s union leader Melhem Khalaf, Geagea, who did not leave the political agreement in 2016. Gebran Bassil announced that he had joined the ranks of the revolution after he had presented himself as the creator of governments. Walid Jumblatt is pretending to be outside the formula. All of this a result of the fact that the sectarian regime is starting to waver, as Hezbollah decided to take it upon themselves to return the country to before October 17, deluded that destroying a few tents would allow them to reproduce the government overthrown by the street and reproduce a corrupt regime that will make the majority of people pay for the crisis.
All of this makeup is no longer sufficient to cover the hideousness, despite having militias and other means of violence, they are the weakest because there are no sides that have a plan to save the country while the unemployment crisis plagues the entire country. Starvation is the hallmark of their regime that has forced a substantial number of citizens to take their own lives out of poverty and humiliation. Hezbollah’s missiles will not put money in the ATMs and will not give people back their bank deposits. Their missiles will not provide jobs for the unemployed, reaching 50% of the working force. This is a critical moment in the united political confrontation before they reproduce some agreement that blurs peoples’ vision and maintains the crisis, taking the country into degeneration.