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It’s All Europe’s Fault

“Lebanon faces prospect of seeing repeat of violent history,” says the International Herald Tribune, as sectarian tension sizzles in the aftermath of the Gemayel assassination. Lebanon's seeming slide toward civil conflict is not just a symbol of unfortunate historic symmetry. … Read More

By / November 27, 2006

“Lebanon faces prospect of seeing repeat of violent history,” says the International Herald Tribune, as sectarian tension sizzles in the aftermath of the Gemayel assassination.

Lebanon's seeming slide toward civil conflict is not just a symbol of unfortunate historic symmetry. This country is a barometer for the region, a canary in the Middle Eastern mineshaft, serving as a measure of tensions and rivalries.

Jewcy user SimpleLiquid agrees, but not in the way that the IHT might expect. He says,

Lebanon is a failed nation state plagued by sectarian violence since it was drawn onto the map by France as part of French imperial designs. Lebanon's people have no cohesive history or independent identity and since its creation have not been able to form one. Hence, the nation is doomed to failure and continuing civil strife. Lebanon should be removed from the map and either incorporated into Syria or divided up into sectarian states.

In other words, Lebanon is a “canary in the mineshaft” in that Middle Eastern bloodshed, from Lebanon to Iraq, has the same source: the awkward and ahistoric national borders that Europe imposed during its 500- year campaign to carve the world into pliant and lucrative colonial fiefdoms.

Oceans of blood were spilt on European soil as its nations worked out their borders and demography. And Europe made the same violence—or worse—inevitable in the Middle East, Africa, and other colonial lands by forcing hopelessly unnatural borders upon them.

If such reasoning is correct (and it is), then the die was cast for Lebanon a long time ago. Cataclysmic sectarian violence will threaten unless somehow, some way, the map is redrawn so that it no longer reflects the brutal carelessness of colonial Europe. Until then, all we can do is damage control.

It's all so very sucky.

 

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