Don’t you find some Lebanese reactions to things in this country overly odd?
I can somehow fathom some religious extremists taking it to the streets in order to protest the murder of their religious leaders even though I’m against it.
I can somehow fathom political militia groups blocking roads to get a boost in tactical power even though I’m definitely against it as well.
What I can’t fathom is how some people can be more than convinced that the best way to stand up for the Lebanese army is to block the road for everyone else and create a new mess for the army to clean up.
You try to tell them so. They say you’re not patriotic. I guess we can say now we’ve heard it all in this country.
Do you want to support the Lebanese army and have the urge to show it? How about you do so in productive ways like – say – enroll? But weren’t you the same people, like me, praying and crossing every single digit in your body so they cancel that mandatory army enrollment by the time you turn eighteen?
Those barricades blocking roads in support for our army are a mere pre-election political ploy and people eat them up. Politicians, notably Christian ones, can’t wait to come on TVs and point fingers and say: See those? Those are the people you shouldn’t trust. See us? You should vote for us all the time because with us the army is always protected.
The truth, though, couldn’t be farther away from that notion.
For instance, the people of my district, Batroun, decided that – similarly to the people of Sarba – they were going to block the highway yesterday in solidarity with the army and both its new martyrs Pierre Bechaalani and Ibrahim Zahraman.
I have to ask the people of my district one simple question: where was all this army love when one army man of our own, Samer Hanna, was gunned down and murdered like a dog, his killer never to see a jail cell?
Oh wait. What was Samer Hanna doing flying over parts of Lebanon?
Where was this fear for the army’s sake when people like Francois el Hajj, who defended the entire country during the clashes of Nahr el Bared uttering his infamous sentence: they either come out of that camp in body bags or in handcuffs. was blown up to little pieces?
Hold up again. What business was it for Francois el Hajj to snoop around?
Wasn’t the army threatened back then too? Is it truly us supporting our army when we are 1) hypocritical about it, 2) not knowing we are hypocritical about it and 3) not even knowing how to support the army?
Our army has been taught a few lessons over the past few years.
Chapter one: Samer Hanna – the South is off limits.
Chapter two: Francois el Hajj – the army is only allowed a very limited leeway.
Chapter three: The Sunni Mufti – parts of the North are off limits.
Chapter four: Pierre and Ibrahim – Arsal is another no-no.
Between chapters one, two, three and four, our politicians had differing opinions. Some of their supporters, who never see themselves as blinded because God forbid their politician of choice ever make a mistake, had differing opinions as well.
The army man who died in chapter one cannot compare to those who died in chapter four. And vice versa.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: emotional upheaval towards the army in this country is an auction. Fools are those who actually fall for it – and fools are many. Because the blood of Samer Hanna doesn’t serve some people politically so it’s never – ever – mentioned.
But I will never forget that man and how some politicians who can’t wait to flaunt army love today were the first ones to dismiss his murder a few years ago.
And who’s the victim always in this? Our army. So you support him by blocking roads and feel good about it because your twisted imposed logic tells you so. Because protesting against those “extremists” by doing exactly what those “extremists” do is not extremism and terrorism at all.
The fact of the matter is “justice” in this country is only applied to those who are weak. So when our army barges into Arsal to capture those killers and justifiably so, I really hope someone out there remembers that there are other army killers out there and that there are army martyrs who are now forgotten, who didn’t have roads blocked for their sake and whose blood has gone cheaper than dirt.
Rest in peace Samer Hanna. Every day of hypocrisy, especially from the people of your region, is another nail in your coffin.