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.