Civil wars occur in many, if not, all countries. In many of these countries, civil wars continue for years or just never get solved. Lebanon’s civil war is an excellent example of an unsolved war from 1975 to 1990 when the war ended but was still left unsolved. Fifteen years should have been long enough to help this country’s democracy stronger. This paper will cover the issues that are occurring in and around Lebanon to get a brief understanding as to why this country’s democracy has fallen and cannot seem to become stronger. Could it possibly be because of the neighboring countries? Maybe. Maybe not.
The country’s search for trustworthy party leaders has been the focus of the citizens in Lebanon. Wars with Israel and Syria led Lebanon to resort to convenient alliances and political stalemates to avoid another significant issue amongst foreign countries that are also wanting power. These issues are not only occurring in Lebanon but also in other Middle Eastern countries like Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen. The Sunni and Shiite parties have been militia leaders of these countries for years. They have manipulated religious/tribal believers to gain more power and make themselves the decision-makers over who gets jobs and contracts. They have overruled these governments and has attempted to knock each other off but decided to come together instead. It was once a fight between Sunni and Shiite and now both parties work together against other leaders at the top, but the anger shown by their citizens has been shown by the protesting in Lebanon, which is as intense as it’s always been. Just as Iraq and Syria have had issues in their countries, Lebanon is suffering issues not only in the country but in their government. Democratic backsliding is slowly breaking down their regimes to help build them back up but they seem like they cannot. Protesting is taking place by the citizens in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to bring awareness to the lack of effort their governments are putting in to help better their country. According to Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times, his lawyer friend stated, “This [Beirut] is Lebanon’s ‘We the People’ moment. The demonstrations are massive, across all regions, across all sects, and against all political parties (no exceptions). They are also overwhelmingly spontaneous, and the protesters are opposed to the entirety of Lebanon’s sectarian political establishment, which gives the protests credibility in the eyes of the population. Only Lebanese flags are raised at the demonstrations — no partisan flags or sectarian symbols. The slogan ‘The people want a civil state’ is one of the top slogans of the protests.” Mr. Friedman then went on to state that “these movements are authentic and inspiring, but their chances of taking power remain remote, largely because their biggest opponent — the Islamic Republic of Iran — is ready to arrest and kill as many democracy demonstrators as needed to retain its grip on Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, not to mention at home” (New York Times).
Climate change, globalization and technology are all changing at the same time. This leaves many Middle Eastern countries with no choice to begin forming more political decisions to help keep their government and state up and running. For example, according to the New York Times, Lebanon’s recent protests began when the government proposed taxing WhatsApp and other internet calling services to pay down huge government debts incurred by corrupt politicians. Also, being fueled by the government’s inability to deal with massive forest fires spread by high temperatures and prolonged drought, they manage to uphold their government and allow their citizens a say in their decision making by not taking away their right to protest. Meanwhile, in places like Libya, Yemen and Syria, kids have missed years of basic schooling. All of this is happening while populations have exploded (New York Times)
Due to another conflict in 2006 with Israel and the overflowing of people from the ongoing war with neighboring country, Syria and Lebanon has resorted to forming a union for mutual benefit between these countries. To not begin new tensions, the Lebanon has not had an official idea of their population numbers since 1932. According to a study conducted in July by Beirut-based Information International, it is about evenly divided between Shiite Muslims, Sunni Muslims and Christians, with an array of sizable minority groups. Meanwhile, the Shiite and the Sunni Muslims still control much of Lebanon’s militia (Newsweek).
In addition to Lebanon’s government is seen as a weak government because of political gridlock, the country had not been holding parliamentary elections for nine years. The government’s lack of satisfying their citizens’ needs has ruined their citizens’ trust in their own government. This lack of trust and anger has led these protests for months now and although Lebanon is not the only country suffering from protests it is the lack of government help in Lebanon that’s leading them to failure. Corruption and civil wars are leading so much of these governments’ decisions in which if they keep forming a deeper hole it will be almost impossible to rebuild the country’s infrastructure and the citizens’ trust.
Friedman, Thomas L. “Iran Is Crushing Freedom One Country at a Time.” The New York
Times, The New York Times, 4 Dec. 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/opinion/iran-iraq-trump.html.
O’Connor, Tom. “Arab World Hit by New Protests as People in Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Other
Nations Take to the Streets.” Newsweek, 4 Oct. 2019,