What's new? Well, Lebanon wants money - again.
This time the Lebanese government wants 400 million dollars from the international community to rebuild the Nahr al Bared camp. Saudi Arabia is considering the request. 400 million dollars? That would equal 100 usd for every Lebanese, or 13.000 usd for every Palestinian (Now I understand why having 12 children is a smart move!)
This of course, after, in June this year, the Lebanese government wanted to have extra weapons, jeeps and ammunition, worth millions, from the international community to fight Fatah al Islam extremists in the camp.
Two weeks ago, Lebanon wanted - and received from the US - a few hundred brand new four wheel drives for the Lebanese army.
Last year, Lebanon wanted - and received - 4 billion dollars from the international community to rebuild the destruction created by the summer war between Hezbollah and Israel.
This has been going on already for many years. UN, IMF, Worldbank, US, Saudi Arabia, EU, Iran. Mention the word Lebanon and they all are getting acute headache. Every time the 'poor' Lebanese screw up their own country, the rest of the world has to pay for it.
Every time something goes wrong here - the government or Hezbollah (thanks to our Iranian friends) go on an international begging spree and collect again several hundreds of millions of dollars.
And they are smart (and corrupt), these Lebanese.
Hezbollah says to Iran: "You want the US and these Sunni bastards to win in Lebanon?". And here come the suitcases with euro's from Tehran.
The government says to the US and Saudi Arabia: "You want the Shi'ite scum or Al-Qaeda to win?" The next day, it is raining checks signed in Washington and Riaad.
This beggar-mentality, in the long run, doesn't lead anywhere. Of course, now its great to get all this cash. Shopping, new cars, fancy dinners, real estate - lovely. But the world is quickly loosing its respect for this country and its inhabitants.
Especially if you consider that 15 percent of all cars in Beirut are, almost all, brand new SUV's! Around 5 percent is either a new Porsche, Mercedes or BMW. Man, there are more Hummers (shiny yellow or i-have-got-a-small-penis black) driving around in Beirut than in Baghdad (dusty army green).
My suggestion: Confiscate every SUV, Porsche or Hummer. Sell that stuff and rebuild the Nahr al Bared camp, fix the army, pay policemen and teachers a decent salary, get electricity to poor areas and start factories to create jobs! It also might help to stop kidnapping Israeli soldiers.
The Lebanese can endlessly complain about foreign interference in their country. Strange, isn't it? When everybody else (except you) is paying the bills - don't be surprised when these powers want and get influence. In life, nothing comes for free. It is either shopping and SUV's or real independence.