Fir­ing blindly

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - FRONT PAGE - Hanna An­bar

It’s al­ways a good idea to get out of your own way if you want to reach your stated goals.

In the cur­rent case, the goals in­clude do­ing what’s best for Le­banon and the Syr­ian refugees tak­ing shel­ter on our soil, and care­taker For­eign Min­is­ter Ge­bran Bas­sil shoot­ing from the hip is not help­ing mat­ters.

Le­banon is hardly thriv­ing eco­nom­i­cally or po­lit­i­cally. It needs ev­ery friend it can get to safely ride out the tur­bu­lence grip­ping its neigh­bors, and hope­fully ar­rive on safer shores some­where down the line.

Such an even­tu­al­ity is pos­si­ble, but only if the coun­tries that for now ap­pear to have our best in­ter­ests at heart con­tinue to show us the same gen­eros­ity and will to sup­port us through these treach­er­ous waters.

Un­for­tu­nately, Bas­sil is fir­ing blindly at the very U.N. agen­cies that are en­deav­or­ing to im­prove con­di­tions for this coun­try and its guests. These peo­ple are here to help, and to think they have any­thing to gain from a coun­try that can’t even keep the lights on is laugh­able.

More­over these agen­cies rep­re­sent some 200 coun­tries, in­clud­ing those that re­cently pledged $11 bil­lion to help Le­banon ad­dress its ail­ments. As every­one knows, bit­ing the hand that feeds is hardly pru­dent.

Bas­sil’s ac­tions have al­ready drawn the ire of many top in­ter­na­tional of­fi­cials, with the EU rep­re­sen­ta­tive, the heads of the U.N. agen­cies, as well as the U.S. and Ger­man am­bas­sadors declar­ing to Le­banon’s prime min­is­ter-des­ig­nate that they con­sider it untenable to work with a per­son who brings such a men­tal­ity to any fu­ture Cab­i­net.

With the lives of more than a mil­lion refugees at stake, not to men­tion Le­banon’s own well­be­ing, this is not a triv­ial mat­ter that is fod­der for politi­ciz­ing, and the tar­geted agen­cies are not obliged to suf­fer ego­tists.

It is not reck­less rhetoric that will at­tain our goals, but a tact­ful and am­i­ca­ble ap­proach. If we en­gage in a civil man­ner, ev­ery­thing else can be worked out.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lebanon

© PressReader. All rights reserved.