"... Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.
Pity the nation that despises a passion in its dream, yet submits in its awakening.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice save when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except when its neck is laid between the sword and the block.
Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggle, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.
Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpetings, and farewells him with hootings, only to welcome another with trumpetings again.
Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.
Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation."
From: The Garden of the Prophet, Gibran Khalil Gibran
This quote from Gibran was the preface to Robert Fisk's 1990 book about Lebanon (Pity The Nation). It is sad to see that seventeen years later, Gibran's words still ring true. Lebanon's ruling class, across the board and without exception, has failed the people. Today's editorial in the Daily Star, echos well what I feel about those who have brought Lebanon to the brink of disaster. I am optimistic however that civil strife will be avoided. My hope lies in the belief that unlike their politicians, the Lebanese people have learned the lessons of their recent history and will not, like the proverbial lemmings, follow their leaders over the cliff.
Lebanon and its people deserve better than this.