Friday, September 04, 2009

Very dry and sober post

This R Siryus Post!
Dry as powdered milk

Seeing as it is Sober September I might as well take this opportunity to delve into some serious topics. Casual reader you have been warned.

Moving on with all three remaining blog readers let's set out the topic for this post. I want to discuss one of the main problems plaguing Lebanon.

well, one of the other lesser problems at least

As many of you may know Lebanon was officially declared an independent country in November of 1943. Before that from 1920 the country of greater Lebanon was under French Colonial rule.

As a result Lebanon has adopted much of France's 3rd Republic system of laws and bureaucracy which are infamous for being unwieldy and which are widely acknowledged to have led to France's defeat in WW2. Well that was the reason the French gave but everyone knows it was because the French are total wusses. Incidentally France is now in its Fifth Republic.

Under Colonial rule the French came to civilize educate and generally rx%# the s#$@ out of the country. They instituted a form of rule in which technically there was a parliament (filled with christians) and there was a President (christian) and a Prime Minister (Did you guess Christian? well you're wrong). They theoretically set up a judiciary branch based on their laws (where homosexuality is illegal), a legislative branch, and an executive branch, all of which would keep each other in check.

They also left us with a legacy of general Frenchiness which has eluded and will probably continue to elude our best efforts of being purged.

Hon Hon Hon, feed me ze cheeze
Mother of God!

But That was just a fa├žade, the French didn't go to all this civilizing trouble to sit in the passenger seat, they wanted to take the reigns. The real power structure was that there was a French "High" Commissioner who everyone reported to and who everyone had to visit for their blessing. Kinda like the patriarch or the grand Mufti today but with much more flair and cheese breath.

"I find your lack of cheese toast disturbing"

The Grand Commissioner sat at the head of the executive branch, and the executive branch became an unchallengeable authority which meant that the other two branches could do nothing to stop it.

this was generally the standard colonial policy all over the world. Give an overbearing hand to the executive branch so that they could essentially override both of the other branches.

In addition to giving the High Commissioner ultimate power! and control they also supplemented him with his own army of French bureaucrats.

By assigning a French-man to every major (and many minor) executive position, the high commissioner made sure that all his visions for a pure world were carried out. Sure there was a Lebanese counterpart to every Frenchman but his role was merely advisory.

Did I say pure? I meant ... not that.

This made sense, because the colonial power could claim the illusion of an elected government all the while keeping the reigns in its own hands.

Now come French withdrawal no one thought to change this system, the High Comissioner was just replaced by some Lebanese Dude and as a result all the way up to the civil war the executive branch has wielded power essentially unchallenged by any of the other branches. After the civil war the President's powers were given to the Prime Minister, achieving what is referred to in the structural reform camp as dick shit.

Which brings us to one of the problems today. None of the other branches of government are empowered or independent enough to keep the executive branch in check. Judges complain like bitches, and parliament is stuck in a circlejerk chain. (thank you google for that image)

If you clicked the google link you'll need this for detox

So can we blame the French for our current woes?

Psychology would say no. This is the same as blaming your emotionally abusive parents for being a perverted child molester. The instant you walked out of home leaving behind a trail of corpses you became responsible for your own actions. Sure they may have scarred you for life, but it's about what you do with that new-found independence and you chose to piss in the mouths of three year olds; It's pretty much your own fault.

Lebanon had a chance to make things better in the 1940's, then again in the 1960's when there was prosperity, and even after the civil war, but it never did and that is why we can't keep blaming the French for this particular fault.

On a tangential note, The number one country Lebanon imports from is France. And what do we import, (other than bad taste and funny accents) mainly high end products like diamond studded Louis Vuitton fur coats made from the blood of a thousand orphan Koala's.

Not to make light of this tragedy this on the other hand is one area where we can blame France. They have sown the seeds of Language and trade ties and have reaped the benefits. Who said colonialism doesn't pay.

Hey look we got through it fine. I knew you guys could take some serious stuff!


Disclaimer: this post only loosely based on historical factual accuracy.


Yasmina said...

"Moving on with all three remaining blog readers let's set out the topic for this post."
This cracks me up everytime! :D

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