Research studies

Political Corruption and Economic and Social Deficit in the Light of the International System in Lebanon as a Model:A Study in Political Geography

 

Prepared by the researcher   : Dr . Hana Omar  Mohamed  Kazouz – faculty member at Al-Zaytoonah University – Tarhuna (Libya)

Democratic Arab Center

Journal of Afro-Asian Studies : Thirteenth Issue – May 2022

A Periodical International Journal published by the “Democratic Arab Center” Germany – Berlin.

Nationales ISSN-Zentrum für Deutschland
ISSN  2628-6475
Journal of Afro-Asian Studies

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Abstract:

 This research aims to clarify the rampant corruption in the State of Lebanon due to the difficult circumstances in which the internal, regional, international, military, security, economic and social factors intertwine, causing the existence of an internal inability to solve these problems. Where the random sample was relied upon in an opinion poll through an electronic questionnaire distributed on social networks to find out their answers to the questions that revolved around the economic, political, social and sectarian situation of the State of Lebanon. The descriptive approach was used to explain and analyze this policy problem.

Introduction

 The Lebanese state suffers from economic and financial crises that make it vulnerable to serious internal structural vibrations. These crises are accompanied by a burning environment between devastating wars, military conflicts and economic sanctions. This makes the Lebanese entity in its current form vulnerable to the repercussions of transformations in the entire region. It is a mistake to believe that the economic crisis in Lebanon is the result of temporary and temporary causes. The economic downturn, the rise in public debt, and the fiscal deficit are the result of the accumulation of a political system that carries with it the seeds of contradictions and conflicts, and of an unproductive rentier economic approach that has its roots since the establishment of the Lebanese Republic. The events in Syria in 2011 contributed to exposing the fragility and wear and tear of the Lebanese internal situation with its sectarian and sectarian mosaics, and demonstrated the failure of the Lebanese economic model in facing challenges and even in preventing crises. (Ayman, 2019).

Research problem:-

  1. Are external interventions a factor in distorting the Lebanese internal system?
  2. Has sectarian quotas led to administrative disasters in the sectors of the Lebanese state?
  3. Do armed groups have a negative role in the affairs of the Lebanese state, which led to the spread of social, political and economic corruption?

 Research hypotheses:-

  1. The foreign policy of many countries has resulted in the increasing state of dispersion and internal conflict in the State of Lebanon.
  2. The multiplicity of religious sects and partisan currents has led to weakness and dereliction of services within the sectors of the Lebanese state.
  3. The armed militias contributed to the worsening of the political situation and the strife among the various segments of Lebanese society, which weakened the ability of the Lebanese state to advance its various sectors

Its importance: –

 High lighting this type of studies related to political geography and enriching refereed journals with such topics.

Its objectives: – Clarify the social gap, economic weakness and political impotence represented by the Lebanese government, which contributed greatly to the aggravation of the Lebanese situation and considered it a model of a failed state and rickety forces.

Research fields: – Time range: from 1975 to 2020 AD, which is the period during which Lebanon witnessed a war with the Israeli entity, followed by the civil war between the Lebanese, then the war on power and its division among the multi-religious sects. Spatial domain:- the state of Lebanon.

 The human domain:- the target group of the electronic questionnaire are individuals interested in political affairs in general and the state of Lebanon in particular.

The study sample: –

 The random sample was relied on by an opinion poll through an electronic questionnaire distributed on social networks to find out their answers to the questions that centered on the economic, political, social and sectarian situation of the State of Lebanon.

 The followed methodology:- The descriptive approach was used to explain and analyze the phenomenon of political corruption and its negative consequences that led to the emergence of impotence in the Lebanese state.

Previous studies:-

  • The researcher (Mohsen) indicated in her study (Lebanon a Study in Political Geography and Geopolitics), 2004 AD, by clarifying the important geostrategic location adjacent to the occupied lands by the Zionist entity, as well as Lebanon’s possession of very important water resources in the expansionist geopolitical thinking of the Zionist entity Where the geographical location of Lebanon has always played an important role in deciding the fate of the Arab Mashreq region, whose names have evolved according to historical eras, and the researcher indicated that the importance of the study does not need justification, but that studying all its elements in depth and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses has become more than necessary, especially that the Arab nation Today, we are on the cusp of a new phase, a very dangerous phase that threatens its future and its existence. (Mohsen, 2004 )
  • .In the study (Farhat) on (The Role of Lebanese Satellite Channels in Shaping the Attitudes of Lebanese Public Opinion towards Sectarianism), 2015 AD, he clarified the role played by the Lebanese satellite channels in shaping the attitudes of the Lebanese public towards the issue of sectarianism from the point of view of the Lebanese public itself, by clarifying the differences Statistically indicative of a number of variables, namely religious affiliation, social diversity, education level and age variable. One of the most prominent recommendations of this study was to activate the legal framework in dealing with Lebanese satellite channels, especially with regard to sectarianism, and to launch an observatory to monitor hate speech and sectarian incitement in the media in general and on satellite channels in particular. (Farhat, 2015 )
  • As for (Jabri. Toami) in their study on (The Lebanese Civil War and its Repercussions on Lebanon 1975-1990 AD), 2020 AD, the two researchers aimed to benefit from the implications of the Lebanese war and to identify the stations that this war went through and to know the real causes on the one hand and the results of events on the other hand Where the two researchers indicated that among the important results that emerged from the Lebanese civil war was weakness in all sectors, especially the economic ones, as the economy declined within fifteen years to its lowest level, and this is for the economy, while the social situation was not unlike others, as the country witnessed another crisis, which is immigration, Among the social consequences, human losses are also found, we find destruction in health and educational facilities and many other problems, which were negatively reflected in Lebanon. (Jabri. My twin, 2020 ).

Terms and concepts:-

  1. Geopolitics:- What is scientifically meant is geopolitics or the politics of place as it is called. The essence of geopolitics is the study of the geography of international political relations in the light of conditions and geographical structure. (Al-Sammak, 2011 )
  2. Political corruption:-It is the acquisition of resources and a justification formula for granting, securing, sustaining, and granting concessions on the one hand, and challenging the legitimacy of their refusal on the other. He controls and who is controlled by him. (Abu Fasha and others, 2021 )
  3. The economic crisis:- It is the disturbance that occurs in the economic balance, which usually results from the imbalance between production and consumption. (Al-Karakji, the year of publication does not exist)
  4. Sectarianism: –

 It is a religious doctrine characterized by splitting policies, which is the religious employment in politics, and even the wrong blending of religion in politics, and it is closer to politics than religion, and it is not religion but rather a product of negative thinking and interpretation of religion, based on A vision based on transmission, not reason. (Hussain, 2015)

The first topic: the internal situation in Lebanon: –

Lebanon witnessed a fierce civil war for fifteen years from 1975 to 1990 in which hundreds of thousands were killed. Israel also invaded Lebanon during this period, as the Israeli forces reached the Lebanese capital, Beirut, before withdrawing and occupying southern Lebanon until 2000. The Taif Agreement, sponsored by the international community and signed in the Saudi city of Taif in 1990, put an end to the Lebanese civil war and the Lebanese constitution was amended accordingly. The agreement resulted in reducing the powers of the President of the Republic, and although the Lebanese constitution stipulates that Lebanon is a parliamentary republic, democratic country, but the sectarian structure of the political system in Lebanon made it almost impossible to take any major decisions without the consensus of all political parties distributed on a sectarian basis. The Lebanese president elects the President of the Republic, who must be from the Maronite Christian community, and in agreement between the political forces represented in Parliament, for a period of six years, subject to renewal. (BBC NEW, 2017 )

The second topic: the political system under the grip of criminals and the weakness of the people: –

The dominant powers used to secure the side of the general Lebanese, by feeding their sectarian divisions, until it became possible to say that the most politician working in the interest of the dominant power was the one who spoke the most about the “strength” of his sect, and Lebanon could not It records a productive popular presence, except during the “transient” periods when patriotism over sectarianism was strengthened. Perhaps the event closest to the memory of the Lebanese, for this aspect, was embodied with the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on February 14, 2005 AD, and the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon was one of its most prominent results. And, through Hezbollah, Iran was not able to take on the Syrian role in Lebanon, except when sectarianism returned to its peak, taking advantage of the pioneering roles that General Michel Aoun played in this field and succeeded in attracting everyone to it, and Aoun himself did not reach The Presidency of the Republic, except by imposition, and on the basis of an occupying criterion, after being assisted, financially, electorally, in the media, and politically, and through intimidation and enticement, to crown the “strongest in his sect,” and during the era of “the strongest in his sect” Hezbollah completed its hegemony over Lebanon, which Enter the country, little by little, into Jahn M.” So, those who know and those who do not know, set out to transcribe satire poems against the state and the people, attributing the political class to the nature of the political system and the “complacency” of the Lebanese people, and not to imposing the dominant forces on the country and the people, with fire, iron, explosive devices, and “your right is a bullet.” The fourth of August 2021 summed up the reality of the Lebanese suffering, While the Lebanese marched in their capital, raising the banner of their sovereignty – even from the judicial gate as a comprehensive address – and the international community organized a large demonstration of support for the people, the dominant power was opening a “missile gap” in the south of the country, with the aim of dragging Lebanon, by force, into a new crime in order to cover up the crime that preceded it in order for this force to maintain its bloody control over Lebanon, which it uses as a pawn in its projects. (Khashan, 2021)

The third topic: the project to survey the living conditions of families residing in Lebanon implemented between 2014-2015:-

 The Consultative Center for Studies and Documentation published a statistical study entitled “Living Conditions for Families in Lebanon 2015, General and Regional Results and Indicators”, which is the latest national study that includes an estimate of poverty rates in Lebanon. Lebanon, and it comes after a study carried out by the Central Statistics Department with the World Bank in 2011/2012, and its summary was published in 2015. The last study followed a scientific methodology similar to that adopted in reports issued by international bodies and studies by statistical departments, whether in terms of implementing the field study, or in terms of presentation. The report was similar in terms of specifications and design to international reports in this field, especially in terms of including a detailed presentation of the approved methodology. This is a point recorded in the interest of the authors of the report, as this facilitates reading and comparison, and draws a frame of reference for the study that specialists can clearly deal with. This does not mean that the study does not have a gap (and this is normal), but this gap does not negate the overall objective scientific nature of the study. The study was carried out in two phases, and this is one of the points that negatively affects the results. In a first stage, the forms of 5016 families were completed in 2013 and 2014, then in a second stage 1021 forms were completed in 2015 (that is, the total sample amounted to 6037 families); The interruption and the time interval between the two phases of fieldwork constitutes a weakness in the sample design. The study actually consists of two parts. The first is the national study, which adopted a small sample (1307 forms), which is the sample that was adopted in measuring poverty through the Living Conditions Index; The second section is a presentation of the general characteristics of the governorates, where the entire sample was adopted. (Maha Lotf Jammoul et al., 2017).

The fourth topic: The World Report for the year 2021 AD by Human Rights Organization: –

 In 2020, Lebanon witnessed several crises, including a huge explosion in the port of Beirut, economic collapse, growing political turmoil, and the outbreak of the “Corona” virus, all of which combined to threaten the basic rights of the population. The Lebanese political class did not address any of these crises, but was the cause of some of them. The Lebanese pound has lost 80% of its value since October 2019, weakening people’s ability to access basic commodities such as food, housing, and health care. The coronavirus outbreak has exacerbated poverty and economic hardship as the economic crisis and coronavirus outbreak has severely affected the medical sector, weakening the ability of hospitals to provide life-saving care. Electricity cuts increased to about 22 hours a day during the summer, and on August 4, an explosion in the port of Beirut destroyed the city, killing nearly 200 people, wounding more than 6,000, and displacing 300,000 people. President Hassan Diab’s government resigned shortly afterwards. Saad Hariri was named prime minister on October 22, nearly a year after he resigned under the pressure of popular protests, and the Lebanese security forces, including the army, the Internal Security Forces, and the Parliament’s police, used excessive force on several occasions against demonstrators, specifically after the uprising October 17, 2019 – often with impunity. The Lebanese authorities continue to prosecute and investigate people for peaceful expression and refer them to military courts. Women and children continue to face discrimination under sectarian personal status laws, and child marriage and marital rape remain legal. Lebanese women cannot pass on citizenship to their foreign husbands and children, unlike men. There are approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, 78% of whom do not have legal residency, which is higher than last year. In light of the economic crisis and the spread of the Corona virus, the conditions of migrant domestic workers – who are already subject to the restrictive kafala system and are excluded from the protection of the labor law – have worsened. (Lebanon Global Report, 2021).

The fifth topic: Analysis of the field study on social networking sites: –

 Several questions were asked, including about what are the causes of internal problems in the State of Lebanon? Some of the answers indicated that one of these reasons is external interference (Iran + France) and then corruption and the deterioration of the Lebanese economy, while some of the respondents on the electronic questionnaire stated that sectarianism, the failure to address the form of the state and the form of governance, the absence of the state, the control of some politicians in the scene and the control of militias are the cause of the problems The Interior Ministry, while others answered that a country like Lebanon has about twenty sects. It is one of the most important reasons for the continuation of the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites. Some have also suggested that one of these reasons is the Gulf money that flows into the pockets of the Sunnis and the Iranian weapons that flow into the pockets of the Shiites (Hezbollah(

In the second question: What is the best way for the Lebanese to forget the past and move towards civility and peace within the Lebanese state?

 Some of the respondents suggested the establishment of a national Lebanese government from all sects, the betrayal of those who deal with the outside, and the agreement on a federal form of the state and a parliamentary system of government in which the ruling and cross-sectarian party rules a strong state that imposes its control over everyone, while some of the answers were that the solution is for them to come together on what It unites them and they ignore what divides them. This is difficult in light of politicians inheriting their positions as if they were pure inheritance from their fathers. This made it difficult in the presence of the bitter fact that all the conflicts of the Arab countries and their attempts to change came at an inappropriate time. The countries of the developed world are experiencing periods of political stability because they are devoted to our Arab world and will not leave it alone. It is the misfortune of the Arab countries that they are trying to rise up, and the world is looking at them and does not want them to rise, so they come out of a hole and fall into another. Also, the answer of some was to stay away from the application of consensual democracy and follow the method of the majority.

 As well as making the national identity superior to subsidiary identities and neutralizing Hezbollah from power and preventing actual international interference by issuing a law criminalizing and prohibiting the carrying of arms, provided that the security of international police bears a new precedent for ten consecutive years with the training of a new generation through specialized police secondary schools in all security branches. Then they are appointed with the International Police in positions of assistants to take over the tasks after the expiry of the term.

The interviewees also suggested the necessity of coexistence, tolerance and cohesion as basic values and the disarmament of Hezbollah Prosecuting those responsible for the outstanding issues, unifying the army, including all militias under it under international supervision, drawing up a constitution free of sectarian tendencies based on political pluralism, establishing a formula of understanding between the sects that guarantees the integration of arms into a regular national army, building bridges of trust among the people of the same country, and electing a president that is agreed upon by the overwhelming majority.

As for the third question: Did the Lebanese militias, with their various orientations and sects, have a negative role in the post-war era?

 Most of the answers were “yes.” History has taught us that every war that ends results in warlords who become fissile, multiply and penetrate into politics and become the people of the solution and the contract and do not give up their personal interests for the sake of the nation even if they burn everything and their competition continues, and each party fears resentment And the revenge of the other if he took control of matters, they are in a permanent conflict and this is literally what is happening in Lebanon, even though the warlords wear suits and ties, while some answered with certainty that it has a negative role of corruption, looting, killing and stealing, so Hezbollah militias and what they did in the port of Beirut is the best example of looting of uranium and a statement to detonate it, although if everything in the warehouse exploded, then all of Lebanon would explode.

The militias are the hand of regional countries such as Iran to keep Lebanon in turmoil, and they are just a tool used by international parties that seek to extend their influence in the region, and here lies their negative role, which represented in weakening the role of state institutions In extending security and stability on its territory.

While the content of the fourth question was b. Will there be a friendly dialogue between the sects and the resolution of differences between them?

 The sample answered yes, if there is national will and sincerity to the homeland, as well as international pressure that seeks good and consensus, not evil. The security of the state and the so-called Hezbollah must be broken, especially since it is the one who establishes a state within the state and kidnaps Lebanon and blackmails everyone with it. While some of the respondents wished for this, but the winds do not desire the ports of Lebanon, and the reason is (Hezbollah and Iran), some members of the sample also believe that each sect seeks to control and obtain the largest number of seats in the Lebanese Parliament to control the reins of government, as some suggested that The reason is not sectarian pluralism per se, nor is it the basis of the problem in Lebanon. And the state of hostility between them is not real as portrayed by the media. The real problem lies in the presence of armed militias backed by some countries and claiming, contrary to the truth, that they work for the religious and sectarian sects in Lebanon.

As for the fifth question, it focused on what is the role of Lebanese women and the extent of their participation in the peace process? The answer was that her role is absent at the present time because of her deviation from the political process, as female parliamentarians stood in the middle of the parliament hall to discuss this issue. Why do women deviate? Although women can offer a lot, they have been misled by the issue of beauty, fashion and art from singing and dancing and made it a main media material for their channels as an image of Lebanese women and the rest is an exception, while the rest of the answers were that the role of Lebanese women in peacemaking can be achieved through their active participation in civil society institutions that It calls for the renunciation of differences and armed conflicts and the aspiration for a better tomorrow. And finally, the sixth question: Has the European Union succeeded in building international peace in the State of Lebanon? Most of the answers were no.

They did not and will not succeed unless there is a dialogue that addresses the problem of the state’s form and system of government, while some answered that the solution to the Lebanese crisis is from the Lebanese themselves, and no solutions are expected from the European Union at the present time. The European Union intervenes only in the media in order to achieve victories the internal affairs of the countries of the Union. They know the cause of the problem, but they watch and prolong the conflict because it is not in anyone’s interest for a state that is a neighbor of the Zionist entity to settle. They leave Lebanon in chaos like the rest of the Arab countries that are still continuing to form their entities. While others answered that the truth is that the Europeans do not have any serious will to help Lebanon and other than Lebanon, and they are using everyone for their own benefit and the interest of their true allies, first and foremost Israel.

Conclusions and recommendations:-

  • The necessity of ending sectarianism and the pluralism of parties with different orientations and opinions so that the state and its pillars reach safety and the conflict between them ends.
  • Gathering weapons and military equipment and placing them in places far from civil institutions, residential communities and service centers in order to avoid any civil war occurring at any time.
  • The Lebanese people must speed up the elections for a personality that brings everyone together under one banner. There is no difference between a Sunni Muslim or a Shiite. The important thing is a people on one land and a single political entity whose goal is to form a civil state, not a military one.
  • Giving the opportunity to those outside the political arena and changing the leaders of politics throughout these years.
  • Handing over all those wanted to justice and those against whom judgments were issued by international or local courts in order to establish security, restore rights and redress grievances.
  • The Lebanese people must abandon and cancel the idea of an external mandate from any country in order to avoid the presence of a colonizer on the land of Lebanon after it got rid of the clutches of the Zionist enemy in its south forever.
  • Working on developing the education, health and economic sectors, and attracting foreign companies to reconstruct Lebanon and spin the wheel of the economy with investments that benefit the Lebanese people so that they can settle financially and morally.

Conclusion:-

 Lebanon, after all these years, is still a weak state with fragile pillars and a fragmented political entity despite many internal and external attempts to solve its sectarian, political, social, economic and psychological problems, but there is a clear hand that wants this state to remain in the quagmire of civil wars and external conflicts, especially what This is what Hizb al-Lat is doing, which is trying in every despicable way to overturn the scales of justice, equality, freedom, democracy and well-being, to bring down a state and bring it to the abyss and end its existence among the Arab world

References:-

  • Ayman Omar, (September 30, 2019), the Lebanese economic crisis: reality and repercussions. (Al Jazeera Center for Studies), (https://studies.aljazeera.net)
  • Dana Imad Muhammad Farhat, (2015 AD), the role of Lebanese satellite channels in shaping the attitudes of Lebanese public opinion towards sectarianism, an unpublished master’s thesis, Middle East University, Amman.
  • Lamia Ahmed Mohsen, (2004 AD), Lebanon, a study in political geography and geopolitics, an unpublished master’s thesis, University of Baghdad, College of Education for Girls.
  • Jabri building. Karima Touami, The Lebanese Civil War and its Repercussions on Lebanon 1975-1990 AD, unpublished MA thesis, Mohamed Boudiaf University of M’sila, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2020.
  • Muhammad Azhar Saeed Al-Sammak, (2011 AD), political geography from the perspective of the twenty-first century between methodology and application, first edition, Dar Al-Bazurdi, p. 35.
  • Wassim Abu Fasha and others, (2021 AD), Political Corruption, Reconsidering the Concept, first edition, Birzeit University, pg. 4.
  • Nagham Adnan Ahmed Al-Karakji, The Economic Crises in Andalusia from the Conquest to the Fall of Granada, First Edition, Dar Al-Kitab Al-Thaqafi, p.29.
  • Hossam Kasai Hussein, (2015 AD), sectarianism and the shock of political Islam, first edition, Amouage Publishing and Distribution, Jordan, p. 22.
  • Article entitled “The political system in Lebanon is captive of sectarian balances”, BBC News website, November 22, 2017, https://www.bbc.com.
  • Article by (Fares Khashan), (2021 AD), entitled “The System The political is under the grip of criminals and executed by those subjected to it.” Al-Hurra TV website, August 06, https://www.alhurra.com.
  • Maha Lotf Jammoul and others, (2017 AD), a study of the living conditions of families in Lebanon 2015 – general and regional results and indicators Executive Summary, First Edition, Consultative Center for Studies and Documentation.
  • https://www.hrw.org.
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