Everyone had different explanations for the interest and recent visits of French President Emmanuel Macron to Lebanon.
Some of them said that this was because of his love for Lebanon and a genuine desire from Mother France to support Lebanon. Some said that the visit was to achieve personal interests and boost his own popularity and electoral gains. Some of them put it in the category of economic, political, colonial, religious, or even sectarian interests.
A Lebanese friend I know since childhood told me that he is pleased because he believes that France will colonise Lebanon again. He thinks they will raise it from under the rubble, shake off the dust of ignorance and abominable sectarianism, purify it from corruption after it reproduces its political system, so different from the quota system, and restore its intellectual, cultural and civilisational glory.
When I realised that this friend spoke with utmost conviction and seriousness, I felt a deep sadness and sorrow in myself. I told him that we have hit rock bottom out of despair and misery. And how desperate a people we must be that we should even think of asking another country to recolonise us. What is the value of the national Independence Day that we celebrate every year? Have we been lying to ourselves all these years? Have we failed to build our nation, the state of law, and institutions?
I told him that he must realise that France will not colonise us again, even if we ask it to do so, and Macron will disappoint you, my dear, and let you down. In its traditional form, colonialism has gone forever and now has modern forms, as it has become political, intellectual and cultural colonisation. Lebanon, according to this modern concept of colonialism, has not been liberated at all.
Did France smell Lebanese gas and came back to us again? Is the French-American incompatibility over Lebanon due to each country’s desire for a more significant share in Lebanon’s wealth? Honestly, I do not think we can have more than analysis and debates because they are powerful nations, and if they wanted something, they would do it with our own hands. The feeling that we are the owners of this land has no value to the world’s big players, not in Washington, London, Paris, or even Beijing, Ankara or Tehran. All these countries view our region as a community or a farm, whoever arrives first loots more from it.
They share the cake among themselves and leave us with crumbs, just as the cynical Syrian writer Muhammad Al Maghout said: “Every political dish in the region the US prepares, Russia lights the fire under it, Europe cools it, Israel eats it, and Arabs wash the dishes.”
Mustapha Adib failed to form a technocratic government and announced his apology for forming the government without explicitly mentioning the reasons. Still, Macron, who was closely following the process of forming the government, named things by their names, and said that Hizbollah and the Amal Movement are responsible for obstructing the government’s formation.
Everything that happened after independence affirms that we cannot reform ourselves by ourselves. We can never meet and agree on the interest of Lebanon. We have proven that the sect is more significant than the homeland and loyalty to the leader more significant than loyalty to Lebanon. All this demonstrates that we are still that child who has not yet matured, waiting for his mother to take his hand to cross the road.
How bitter it is for me to see Lebanese people on death boats across the Mediterranean fleeing the hell of Lebanon as illegal immigrants to Cyprus, Tikrit, or other European countries, after they have completely lost hope in the possibility of reforming the situation in their country. I do not blame them, but I add my voice to the Lebanese voices who descended to the streets demanding change, this change that I regret to say, we may not see, certainly not in the near future.