Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

On foreign influences

Posted by worriedlebanese on 10/09/2007

Politicians have been exchanging many insults and accusations lately, accusing each others of training militarily, working for partition, and serving foreign interests.
The last argument is quite interesting because it is usually conflated with othes such as being pawns to foreign powers or working for foreign powers.
While all arguments share the idea that foreign powers have interests in Lebanon, they differ in the means and the strength of their influence.
The question that polical actors and analysts seldom ask is in which way do foreign actors excert influence in Lebanon.
– What is lawfull and what isn’t, why is nothing done about it?
– What is the degree of autonomy of local actors?
– What is the type of relationship between the two?
– Do both have the same interests?
– Do they have the same aims?
– Are there different ways for them to fulfill their interests or reach their aims?
– Who sets the agenda, and why?

By confronting the current crisis with these questions we can probably find a couple of interesting answers.
I will try to do this tomorrow.

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