Liberty is Contagious

Cedar RevolutionWith Israel pushing settlements farther into Palestinian territory, there has been some chatter of a reemergence of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon.

Israel’s claim to land in Gaza pushes Palestinian residents out of their homes and into refugee camps in none other than their northern neighbor, Lebanon. Israel’s antagonism in the 1980’s led to the materialization of Palestinian camps in Southern Lebanon and Beirut, resulting in a fierce civil war and severe cultural discontent between Lebanese Maronite Christians and Muslims.

Lebanon, enduring unwanted occupation by armed Palestinian “refugees,” was also under surveillance by Syria and imperialist Syrian ambitions. The displacement of Palestinians led to a 30-year occupied Lebanon by a belligerent, careless, and socialized Syria. For Lebanon, a “two-state” solution is irrelevant and unimportant. For this little parliamentarian republic in the Middle East, the people there simply want to be left alone. After President Bush called for the UN to pass Resolution 1559, Syrian forces officially withdrew from Lebanon in 2005. For five years, the Lebanese people enjoyed free markets, low taxes, and a relatively peaceful lifestyle.

But the only thing constant is change.

As of March 22nd, “Damascus expressed readiness to meet the West’s demand, but requested an amendment to the structure of Lebanon’s security in order to make security institutions ‘cooperative and responsive’ to the Syrian leadership.”

If there is anything more cantankerous than Germany 1939, it is present day Syria and its ambitions to oppress Lebanon into governmental submission. Liberty is contagious but so is Western Democratic hegemony. As if creating Middle East Mandates after World War I wasn’t enough to destroy indigenous sovereignty in the region, the “West” is now “warning against the outburst of violence in refugee camps in Lebanon.”

What does this mean? More interventionism, more imperial hubris, and a more noticeable Social Democratic Caliphate poking its belligerent nose in the Middle East. Lebanon’s era of peace will once again be shortened by careless diplomacy. For a country that indulged in its 2005 Cedar Revolution calling for liberty to reign supreme in Lebanon’s mountains and green pastures, that liberty’s future will be short-lived thanks to “old men dreaming up of wars for young men to die in.”

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