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22 July 2020


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Barbara Ann

Great anecdote Colonel. I guess the enormous scale the economic charade must have been apparent after the silk jacket episode, even if it had not been beforehand.

What lies in store for Lebanon when it finally reaches the inevitable end of this sorry road? Is there a path which does not lead to descent back into sectarian civil war?

I have to pity the many Lebanese just trying to live their lives under their government's kleptocratic rule. Its days must surely be numbered.


Barbara Ann

The jacket is still in my closet. I wear it on the rare occasions when I think I should dress up a bit. Yes, the pervasive nature of corruption in Lebanon had to be understood through experience of the system. The Lebanese don't think they are corrupt. They are part of the system. They bitch about each other but not the system.


This is the inevitable consequence of diversity and multiculturalism. It's bad enough when it is only the working class that get diversified, but when the ruling elites themselves are not homogeneous there is no agreement over civilizational mission. No one faction possesses the whole so no one has incentive to be a good steward growing the whole. Each faction cares about carving as much out of the diminishing whole as possible. Steal it before your hostile neighbor (who is to you a foreigner with whom you share only the same state-issued paperwork) steals it first.

It is "renter's disease" writ civilizational. While we are not nearly so far gone as Lebanon, we Americans have exactly the same problem.



Yes. It is much easier to divide a people who are already divided. The same principle applies in business, which is the most significant conflict of interest in the way decisions are being made in capitals around the world (for the most part).

How does the calculus change for Iran and HZB?


Posted by: Horace | 22 July 2020 at 11:55 AM

Horace, how would you define the civilizational mission of the US? Why not as compared to those dissenting with that mission?



IMO we have not had a "civilizational mission" since FDR gave up on the Philippines in 1937? The political wars of choice since WW2 are nothing like that.

Eric Newhill

My family had a friends, friends of friends and distant relatives come to the US from Lebanon in the mid-70s. Same story back then; war, rumors of war and corruption. I used to listen to them talk to my father in the living room and always felt honored when they allowed me to sit in on the discussions. Great people. All of the sudden I a lot of new "Uncles" and Aunties" that treated me (10 or 11 at the time) like they'd known me my whole life. The Aunties were fabulous cooks and picked up on teaching my WASP mother how to cook the dishes where my Armenian grandmother left off when she died. The men were fantastic backgammon players (we called it "Tabli", "Tabla" or "Sesh Besh") and my game improved greatly over the many hours spent battling them on the board. As far as I know, most of these people went on to be quit successful in the US. Too bad there own country didn't have a system in which they could thrive. Lebanon would be a jewel in the world with such people being able to fully express their talents.


Eric -

Any insight from your 'Uncles' as to what is going on now at the Armenian/Azeri border? And the threats to the nuke power plant at Metsamor? Seems to be completely ignored by the US media.

Eric Newhill

Hi Leith,
Sorry, no. Those people are all gone now.

I used to have subscriptions to a couple of different Armenia based publications, but those have lapsed in recent years and I haven't felt a need to renew them. I am more concerned with my own country and its troubles as of late.

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