Thus, everything became present for the promised “impact”. And the supposed maturity date, the end of May, is fast approaching. After that, Lebanon will have to face the real challenge: Will it manage to rise again from the bottom of the abyss? How long will that take?
The most dangerous scenarios that are being discussed are the following: When the financial, monetary, economic and social collapse reaches its maximum extent, the state, institutions and equipment are exposed to spontaneous decomposition. In this state of chaos, chaos, hunger and frustration, people take to the streets again, and the forces of power work to confront and frustrate them, as they did on October 17, 2019.
This time, the uprisers will have nothing to lose. Therefore, they will not go out of the street easily. The forces of power will respond either by suppressing them or by dividing their ranks and playing on the sectarian and sectarian factor. This raises fears that the uprising will resort to two options:
1- Regional retreat, whereby every sectarian and sectarian group can retreat away from the center. This choice awakens the reality of the civilian or autonomous administrations that were flourishing during the war. In this climate, de facto forces arise that donate the administration of people’s affairs and help them secure the needs of life and protect them from insecurity as well, noting that the self-management model is still in place in Lebanon, at the level of “Hezbollah”, in terms of security as well as in the economy and money.
2 – The outbreak of a street confrontation, which may start between the authority and groups that are angry on the basis of their demands and livelihood, but the forces of power will soon transform them into sectarian or sectarian confrontations that threaten dangerous repercussions. Usually, these confrontations were the excuses for foreign powers to intervene in Lebanese affairs.
So, the major and likely collapse in terms of money, cash and the economy, if it continues, will lead the country either to a situation close to fragmentation on sectarian or sectarian grounds, or to a civil war and the involvement of external forces. The scenario may go to the two possibilities, respectively.
Experts have been warning about this scenario for more than a year. It was deliberated by several political forces before its details reached high-ranking regional and international bodies. Most likely, every external force is preparing to deal with this scenario in accordance with the requirements of its interests and its vision of the Lebanese file. However, to this day, there are no indications that any of them want to invest in an internal Lebanese war.
Washington, which launched a harsh confrontation with Iran during the era of President Donald Trump, is putting pressure on Lebanon, but it has always avoided destabilizing it. As for the French and the Saudis, they are more keen on this stability. At the same time, Iran does not see an interest in the disintegration of Lebanon, because it is controlling it centrally, and because the influence of Hezbollah enjoys Christian and Sunni coverage.
However, this does not prevent some observers from having fear of Lebanon heading towards the worst scenario, either because of the neglect of the international and Arab powers, or because the conflicting axes had to use it as a field and a mailbox for hot messages, which is what happened often when the Lebanese were fighting.
It is well known that the Lebanese-Lebanese wars do not stop except when external powers intervene and strike deals between them and instruct their groups in Lebanon to agree. Thus, settlements in Lebanon are an automatic result of foreign deals.
Now, what is expected after May?
The “big crash” has become, on the financial, monetary and economic level, an inevitable issue after two or three weeks. It is clear that the Banque du Liban, by promising to hand over some dollars to depositors, is trying to create a very positive shock that “breathes” the very negative shock, that is, the lifting of subsidies without the availability of the financing card.
However, if the move does not succeed, the repercussions will be severe on the social level on the poor and middle classes, in the public and private sectors, because the removal of subsidies will strip salaries of their purchasing power. In this case, the summer will be a blazing summer, open to developments on the street. In this climate, fear arises from security confrontations, which any external force may find an interest in using it or in mediating to stop it and enter the line of political solutions.
There are those who believe that the core of the existing problem remains political, not financial and economic, as it remains external, not internal. The financial, economic and monetary crisis has existed in Lebanon and has been growing for years. Had it not been for the blockade imposed by Washington on Iran and the “party” in 2017, this crisis would have remained in the dark, until further notice.
Today, international – regional consensus on the lines of Washington – Tehran – Riyadh – Damascus could lead to a political solution in Lebanon that begins with the government ‘s file and does not end with the release of Western and international aid and achieving a breakthrough.
Hence, it is possible to read the words made by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian during his recent visit to Beirut, in which he indicated that mixing regional and international cards could be in the interest of Lebanon, and not necessarily at his expense. Of course, with the stipulation that the antique corruption machine should cease to function completely.
This means that the expected “film” in Lebanon, of which we are witnessing some preliminary excerpts today, will be launched in a few weeks. After that, matters will depend on the director, scriptwriter and financier, while local actors will be satisfied with implementing what has been written for them.