Lebanon’s Avoidable Tragedy Is Simply Business as Usual

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Ilham al-Bikai holds the portrait of her son, Ahmad Kaadan, who was killed in the deadly 2020 Beirut port explosion, during a demonstration in support of the judge investigating the blast, Beirut, Lebanon, Feb. 7, 2022 (AP photo by Bilal Hussein).
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Two weeks ago, I returned to Beirut for my first visit to Lebanon since an economic crash transformed the country into a perverse lab experiment on the limits of human tolerance for completely avoidable privation and abusive governance. The human impact of the crisis, which began in October 2019, has been thoroughly chronicled, but it’s still stunning to see it in person. Every individual and household in the country runs a daily obstacle course to secure what food, fuel and medicine is available. Meanwhile, the ultra-rich continue to live in style, packing into clubs and luxury shops in full view […]

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