Grow up

Lebanon must show political maturity after Hariri’s death

With the rate of political assassinations slowing, life is returning to our city. The Lebanese have proved that they have little time for bad memories and even less interest in a propensity to save.

We are big spending, short-termists who have learned to live for the moment, but with such a precarious lull in the violence, we can’t but live each day as if it is our last.

Politically, the respite in targeted killings has been interpreted as a sign that, as usual, a deal was made between the Americans and the Syrians at the expense of Lebanon of course. However, judging by the relentless American pressure on Syria, the nation’s collective intelligence, this time at least, could be wrong.

The Americans simply decided not to use Lebanon as a front against Syria. They realized that some Lebanese politicians were capable of sacrificing their country, fragmenting its society, destroying all what has been rebuilt and witnessing the liquidation of all its politicians and thinkers (while the rest flee), all for the sake of other nations. The risk of loosing whatever democracy is left in this country would definitely have made the Americans look bad.

Simply put, Lebanese politicians are easier to tear apart than bring together. They are also unable to sit at a table long enough to reach an agreement. And if, by some miracle they do, they are experts in tearing up previous understandings. Our politicians always seem to look for la petite bete to start a war of words. And all the while, as their standing shrinks along with their petty quarrels, regional tensions take on nuclear proportions. One wonders how low they are prepared to go. The private sector has lost interest and has decided to go its own way, disappointed by its so-called leaders who have refused to grow up.

In this issue, we remember Dr. Basil Fuleihan, who was part of a movement for change at a time when huge ambition, not cheap sniping, was the order of the day.

At least, one year on from his death, the seeds of this dream of a beter Lebanon are still bearing fruit. Last month alone, the BCD, the much-maligned but nonetheless resilient, symbol of a new Lebanon, saw the investments from Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, of more than $1.2 billion. With this demonstration of faith in the face of an uncertain future, one is forced to ask who the true Lebanese are. Those who want to build or those who wish to dismantle.

The true Lebanese are builders.