The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to an area in the Eastern Mediterranean. It derives from the Italian Levante, meaning "rising", implying the rising of the sun in the east.
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted war in Lebanon, lasting from 1975 to 1990.
If you’re a cynical person, or perhaps just wise, you had noticed that Beirut was too much of a banking center for petrodollars, so it had to be destabilized. Geneva and London is where the oil money goes to now.
Still, Lebanon is a place of plenty - and of peace now. They trade water for oil with the desert states around them. How cool is that?
The people there experience the current war in the sense of American missiles crossing their sky on the way to Syria, as the Yankees are shooting them out from ships in the Mediterranean sea.
It must be some experience for the locals, almost like sitting on the detonators, counting on somebody to punch the right directives into the computer before the touching of the shot.
And after the strikes against some chemical weapon factories in Syria we will never know if the poisoning gasses are now in the open, hovering like big cloud over the region. The media will not investigate it, but it’s an interesting question, nonetheless.
There is something else that is rarely talked about when it comes to the region, and it’s the elephant in the room – China.
They are there all right. Levant is of utmost importance to them. They already have close ties with Iran, which is Shia, like Syria. There are reports of the Chinese training and advising Syrian forces.
And its not just energy supplies in the game here – China needs a route to ship its products to the European market that can’t be shut down by US navy in a moment of conflict. It needs a land route.
Now, let’s just step back and take stock of the world powers.
The US is number one, no question. Is Russia any threat to the United States? The answer is no. The gross domestic product of the entire Russia is about as big as the greater New York area. They have no capabilities to move an assault force to the American shores, and they will not start a nuclear confrontation, because they’re not suicidal. Russia is only being used by the media to justify a bloated Pentagon budget, that’s it, that’s why it is in the news. It’s their raison d'être in the media space.
The real challenger is China. But with these guys you need to tread carefully. They are a huge trade partner and they hold $1.17 trillion US debt as of January 2018. And they’re growing their military every year.
Lebanon is an example of a country where people of different religion co-exist and do business with each other. It is also a democracy and their legal system is based on a French system. All this makes it unique in the Arab world. But its location just asks for trouble.
Tom Kubiak is the author of The Traveler