Elephants are the epitome of power. These times of mystifying power tugs-of-war remind us that Lebanon’s economy has a fundamental right to security and stability. If you personally like the company of an elephant is thus secondary, as long as their power is wielded democratically.
The scary downside of this equation is that when out of control, an elephant in any room will be ruinously destructive. Without a harness, ours has been running loose for much too long. What is tricky is that we cannot mislabel, ostracize or kick it out, since years of indoctrination have engrained it in the identity of Lebanese individuals, families, and communities.
We understand that this elephant is part of our national mix of communities, we know its roots and doctrine, and we are well aware of the bloody path it has taken for forty years, rampaging both for and despite of Lebanon’s interests. But in all our awareness of this destructiveness and despite the track record that includes years of undermining the rule of law, flaunting the national sovereignty, amassing weapons and, lately, mastering cyber weapons and wielding them in cyberwars in support of Syrian and Iranian interests, we also recognize that harnessing the elephant will require a whisperer.
At this moment where we face a very real collapse of a nation, however, we cannot stand idly by the hijacking of Lebanese social causes or the continued destruction of our politics and future. Yes, the elephant is today more dangerously out of control than ever and has failed, along with the whole Lebanese establishment, to deliver on any promise to the people while doggedly warding off alternatives.
This ugly truth is unbearable, but it is time to face it. Look at our barren land, standstill mills, wasted youth and frightened eyes.
Elephants may arrogantly look down on roommates. But any would-be or real elephant in our room has to understand that Lebanon can no longer afford and will no more accept stampeding over its affairs and interests for the benefit of power-mad and bloodthirsty patrons.