The editorial

Ridicule does not kill, underlines the popular saying. Especially in Lebanon, unfortunately. They should therefore not worry too much about those who work to transform the management of public affairs into a wacky parody of low floors. Last episode of this parody: the turmoil that the country has experienced in recent days following the arrest of William Noun. An interpellation which ended up being laughable so much it exceeded all understanding…

You had to show an imagination as overflowing as it was evil, to be truly without faith or law – it is the case to say it – to imagine such a scenario: to lock up the brother of one of the victims of the double explosion who ravaged several vast districts of the capital, because he broke windows at the Palais de Justice! It’s like dreaming… To challenge the “troublemaker” because he launched, in an excess of anger and emotionality, that he wanted to blow up this same Courthouse… while the string pullers persist in the shadows to paralyze Justice so that those who are truly responsible for the cataclysm caused by the explosion of 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the Port of Beirut under the watchful eye of Hezbollah are not revealed to the public for years!

The icing on the cake, on the Lebanese planet of ridicule: the forces of “order” undertook with all the seriousness of the world to carry out a search at the home of the “suspect” who has become William Noun in search of… dynamite! It’s no longer a dream, but a nightmare…

And to complete this burlesque picture, the relatives of the victims were summoned to be questioned on Monday in the “case” of the broken windows! More laughable than that, you die…

But well beyond these poor theatrical scenes, the most serious thing about this lamentable security and judicial gesticulation is that it is only the tip of the iceberg. It indeed reflects a new manifestation – and one of the most serious – of the policy of “double standards” practiced by those who believe that everything is permitted, who behave as if they had carried out a successful takeover bid on Lebanon and that the country had thereby become their private property.

What we have witnessed in recent days is one of the reflections of carefully planned nibbling, of a “policy of small steps” (as Henry Kissinger would say), the aim of which is to intimidate a large section of the Lebanese social fabric in order to impose a strategic and sectarian fait accompli, even a social project at the antipodes of pluralist, liberal Lebanon, open to the world, attached to public and individual freedoms.

The ultimate goal in this respect could well be to bring about a profound demographic change and to anchor Lebanon to a model of society in line with that of the radical mullahs of Tehran. To be convinced of this, it would suffice to imagine that we are embarking on a time machine. We would then see, with a small margin of error, the effects of this slow nibbling operation at many levels and in various areas of public life. Except that the heroes of such a pernicious strategy often forget that Lebanon is very difficult to digest.

To press charges for broken windows or for a sentence thrown out in anger, while those who are blocking the investigation are leisurely frolicking in the countryside, this is like playing with fire, inciting the population to revolt, to radical reactions (breaking windows!). Those who get drunk on the chimerical takeover of the country they imagine they have won (in their minds) obviously know very little about Lebanon.

The lively, spontaneous and firm reactions to the questioning of William Noun, in particular on the part of the Maronite patriarchate and several bishops and priests in more than one region, not to mention the imam of Jbeil, in parallel with the mobilization of many MPs, parties, media and activists have provided new proof – if it were still needed – that the Lebanese people love freedom, as Patriarch Sfeir constantly reminded us during the worst days of the disastrous Syrian occupation. A people who have constantly shown, throughout history, that they never submit and do not back down under any circumstances before coercion, intimidation, repression, blackmail, threats and authoritarian or dictatorial behavior. Faced with this inescapable reality, everything else is weakness.

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The editorial – Chimerical OPA