Former Lebanese minister Wiam Wahhab said during an interview with Russia Today TV that there was no such thing as independence in Lebanon, and that the French Mandate had achieved more than Lebanon has achieved as an independent state. Wahhab, who is the head of the Arab Tawhid Party, said that Lebanon is a silly adolescent country that needs foreign guardianship, and that even guardianship by Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, or the Comoro Islands would be better than the local administration. The interview aired on November 22, 2018, which was Lebanon's Independence Day.
Following are excerpts:
Wiam Wahhab: There is no such thing as independence in Lebanon. Lebanon has never attained independence, in my view. Besides, the French Mandate in Lebanon achieved more than the independent Lebanese state. I'm sorry to say this. The French Mandate established the state institutions, passed legislation, and established significant institutions. The French Mandate handed a real state over to the Lebanese, but they destroyed that state.
Sadly, I can tell you today that Lebanon still needs foreign guardianship. I cannot tell you by whom, but a country whose leaders get instructions from foreign embassies is still an adolescent country that needs guardianship.
Host: Whose guardianship would it be? We used to have French guardianship even after the mandate was over, then came Syria and Saudi Arabia…
Wiam Wahhab: Any guardianship would be better than the current administration – Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Comoro Islands… Any guardianship would be better than this local administration.
Lebanon, in my view, is a silly country. It is a wretched silly country that doesn't really exist as a state. Today, for example, I saw on TV how PM Hariri evaded shaking hands with the Syrian ambassador. Brother, if it were not for Al-Assad and Nasrallah, you would not be able to serve as a minister in Lebanon, let alone a PM. When you were appointed Prime Minister, the appointment was approved by Al-Assad and Nasrallah. So what's the purpose of all these clownish theatrics? Aren't you ashamed of yourself? You are a prime minister, not a clown. You are not a little boy. Why are you making these clownish theatrics on TV?
I don't understand why the European countries that are on the Mediterranean Sea refrain from taking punitive measures against the Lebanese state, to prevent it from doing what it is doing to the sea. Today, the sewage of every [Lebanese] city is tunneled to the Mediterranean Sea. The only country that lets its sewage flow into the Mediterranean is Lebanon.