The questions that Bassil doesn’t answer

This is a stage that may or may not come in a world that resents extremism in all its forms, including Christian extremism that is best expressed by the so-called Aounist Movement in Lebanon.
Monday 26/04/2021
A file picture of Lebanese politician Gebran Bassil. (AFP)
A file picture of Lebanese politician Gebran Bassil. (AFP)

Gebran Bassil, son-in-law of Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who was subjected to US sanctions under the Magnitsky Corruption Act, is trying to save his political future.

The man lives in a world of illusions.

He simply believes that Hezbollah will make him president of the republic, just as it did with Michel Aoun in 2016.

He does not realise that he has no political future and that it even if it is possible to conceive test tube babies, it is not possible to breed politicians that way.

There are test tube babies but no test tube politicians.

Gebran Bassil will never understand this equation as he thinks the people of Lebanon are idiots.

He forgets that the majority of the Lebanese and the majority of Christians, at the present time, do not belong to the so-called “Aounist Movement” which has impoverished the Lebanese and isolated Lebanon from its Arab neighbours after it handed over the country to “Hezbollah”, that is to the “Islamic Republic” of Iran.

Apart from the give-and-take and the tragically comical behaviour of Judge Ghada Aoun, who attacked a money exchange and money transfer company in the Awkar area near Beirut in a way that violated all laws and customs, Gebran Bassil cannot snap free of several complexes that determine his behaviour.

At the top of the complexes that drive his actions is the one about Saad Hariri, who was recently in the Vatican, where he was received by Pope Francis and held talks with senior officials of the Holy See, such as Secretary of State Cardinal Parolan, who is the quasi-prime minister of the Vatican.

It is not a coincidence that Pope Francis received Lebanese Prime Minister designate Saad Hariri, who had shortly before been in Moscow, while Gebran Bassil had to content himself with meeting the Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rai.

The meeting with the patriarch was nothing but a contrived encounter, especially since Rai could not refuse to receive the head of a Lebanese Christian party.

Bassil does not realise that the Maronite patriarch is saying what the Vatican does not say, regarding the neutrality of Lebanon or the holding of an international conference to save what can be saved in a country that entered a period of complete collapse several months ago.

Perhaps what the president’s son-in-law does not realise is that the Maronite patriarch has the minimum level of political awareness that allows him to know what Hezbollah is all about, as well as the type of relationship which that party keeps with Gebran Bassil and his ilk.

The president’s son-in-law defended himself extensively, throwing accusations left and right, in a speech he gave on Saturday, betraying a lack of awareness that the Vatican is interested in Lebanon as a whole.

It is interested in the country’s Christians as well as Muslims. Bassil refuses to realise that the Vatican’s choice to receive moderate Sunni Muslim Saad Hariri did not come out of a vacuum.

Rather, it was due to the fact that Pope Francis knows exactly what is at stake in the region and knows that a moderate Muslim is better and closer to him than a Christian extremist.

The Vatican rejects all that has to do with extremism, be it Christian or Islamic. This is what prompted Pope Francis to visit Iraq last month, after he ascertained that the Shia Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi is working with President Barham Salih to confront extremism in all its forms.

This extremism is what threatened the Christians of Iraq and continues to threaten them. The same extremism threatens the Christians of Lebanon, whom Michel Aoun has played an important role in displacing since 1988. This was when he entered Baabda Palace for the first time as head of an interim government whose mission was limited to electing a president to succeed President Amin Gemayel, whose term in office had ended in September of that year.

Gebran Bassil does not understand that the world has changed, that the Crusades are a thing of the past, and that he cannot restore the rights of Christians with the weapons of Hezbollah that are wielded by a sectarian militia whose elements are Lebanese but affiliated with Iran.

There are questions that the president of the republic and his son-in-law are ignoring as they try to appear in the guise of heroic Christian saviours …

Among these questions: Why isn’t there any electricity in Lebanon even though they have controlled the ministry of energy for 12 years?

Moreover, why doesn’t Gebran ask Bassil where has the money spent on electricity gone after vanishing in thin air? The volume of the money in question is estimated at about fifty billion dollars.

If Gebran Bassil had a minimum level of political awareness, he would have addressed the issue of drug smuggling to Saudi Arabia via Lebanon.

 

The kingdom decided to stop importing vegetables and fruits from Lebanon and to prevent everything that comes from Lebanon from passing through its territory.

This is a huge disaster for Lebanon, which hence gradually loses all that makes it a viable country. There is a Saudi feeling that a war is being waged against the kingdom.

Drowning it with drugs is part of this war, in which Lebanon has become one of the links. This Saudi feeling is 100% correct.

What did Lebanon, which has been awaiting the formation of a government of specialists for six months, do to dispel this feeling?

What is certain is that it did nothing and would not do anything.

What cannot be ignored, in any Arab country, is that Gebran Bassil decided to be the voice of the “Islamic Republic” in the Council of the League of Arab States when he was minister of foreign affairs.

The Arabs know this just as they know that Lebanon lives in a Hezbollah era, with the duo Michel Aoun – Gebran Bassil at the helm.

That’s all the story. What is required of this “era” is to destroy Lebanon sector by sector, starting with banking and ending with agriculture.

Such destruction is an integral part of the process of imposing Iranian control over Lebanon.

The election of Michel Aoun as President of the Republic on October 31, 2016, was a key episode in this process of imposed domination.

In the end, what can be expected from an “era” that does not know the meaning of Lebanon becoming isolated from the Arab world nor the fact the current US administration’s concern about Lebanon is limited to the mere survival of some of its institutions, such as the army and the internal security forces,… until a future stage in which Washington can pay some attention and show interest in the country.

This is a stage that may or may not come in a world that resents extremism in all its forms, including Christian extremism that is best expressed by the so-called Aounist Movement in Lebanon.