We As Americans

Heard on the wire…

We as Americans have only ourselves to blame; for electing politicians, not statesmen.

This is so true. This election season has been characterized by a media circus of showpiece theatre. It’s the same all over. This phenomenon. However disgusting and repulsive it might be, it represents the growing trend in global mass media. The sensationalism in reporting. I was thinking about this concerning Lebanon today. There are no statesmen in Lebanon. Well maybe one or two in the mix of MPs – if I knew them. But the overwhelming majority of political actors in Lebanon are politicians. Perhaps actors would be a better term. Hasan Nasrallah’s is famed for being a great orator above all things. People listen to him no matter what he says. It’s the same with other politicians. I mean everywhere. Just say what you think will get you the biggest headlines. Whether you’re Walid Jumblatt or John McCain – don’t be afraid to be wishy-washy! Who cares if you loose credibility by waffling between political positions. You gotta save yourself right? That’s what it’s all about in the end… not the welfare and prosperity of the state. Don’t bother to read history and realize the last thing you want to do is revert to a state of civil war. Apparently, that’s the word on the street in Beirut. There’s talk of war. Perhaps isn’t not really even that surprising. Isn’t there always talk of war? I don’t know… it was relatively calm the whole time I was there. But its like a frequency running in the background. Whenever some minor ripple occurs, someone’s bound to say: ‘You could start a war!’ But it’s not like the danger isn’t real. There aren’t random shootings or acts of violence in Beirut. Conflict usually involves sub-machine guns. Hence one particular politicians call to make Beirut into a ‘weapons-free zone.’ I mean is this really realistic? Just Beirut? It would need to be the whole entirety of Lebanon. Why take away a few toys when a particularly significant political-military organization is sitting on a large cache of Iranian weapons. That’s the real issue if you want to talk about weapons in Lebanon. Every group has its own armed faction – though some are admittedly bigger than others on a political and military basis. And it makes sense… do you really think these groups fully disarmed after the Civil War? The latest political agreement – Doha after Taif – is fragile at best. I mean these things are shaky compromises to which none of the participants adhere to. It’s basic politics. There’s no guarantor to ensure that the parties follow the rules they agreed to. There’s no way to ensure the credibility of any actor. And this is what it leads to; theatre. Whoever can score the most points at any moment in time, with no outlook or care for the future. Anyway… definitely why I love studying Lebanon from a political perspective. Much more interesting than Christine O’Donnell’s college sexscapades. Ah… gotta love American politics. It’s all masterpiece theatre, wherever you look. The state has been replaced by the the national playhouse.

I seriously should make a book out of it. My grand dystopian novel I’m planning – on the heels of 1984, Brave New World, and The Giver – all of thee political figures would make fort great character portraits. A Christine O’Donnell next to a Hasan Nasrallah. I’ll make it work.


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