Pity the Nation
Lebanon is a place of constant struggle, owing to regular negligence from so many Western voices. They fail to intervene when required and when the going gets tough they even run out of the country, with their tail between their legs as fast as they can – this is the most pathetic display of democratic urgency, I have ever seen. In this book by the London Times correspondent Robert Frisk you will meet a British man who remained in Lebanon since 1975 to report back on the local carnage as most of his contemporaries fled and his thoughts on the conflict.
There is always war in Lebanon, there is too much violence to deem acceptable, and it all seems so never-ending. Tragic personal stories weave a Lebanese tapestry of a war in the book that is emotional and relatable: colourful and ethnic, people are caught up in no man’s war. Nationally, chieftains, private armies and even sects only really care about their inner turmoils at being unable to rule, while the United States, who leads in global affairs, falls short at intervention or peacekeeping efforts spectacularly in Lebanon.
The book is a rare find and you will find yourself unable to tear yourself from it because it is such an absorbing story: what is happening to Lebanon? Lebanon’s tapestry gets darker and more dangerous by the minute – so much savage accounts of an ethnic war as a decade ends in dust because of betrayal and mirage. Political troubles in the tapestry is spelt out by excellent war reporting and as a reader you slowly learn about the importance of good diplomacy in the world: the more we bravely talk of Lebanon, the faster the salvation will be for the Lebanese and the more it’s national history will chart a path of a glorious victory over negligence (and young ruffled innocence).