French Lebanon

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Franz Josef II, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Franz Josef II Member

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    So for the past month we have seen Lebanon get bombed to rubble while Hezbollah fires rockets at Israel. Now, how would things have turned out had Lebanon remained French, as in a French department, modeled after Corisca. Since at one time Beirut was called the 'Paris of the Orient' I presume that it (Lebanon) would have been much happier and more proserperous than it is now, without the constant fighting. Or if you prefer, make Lebanon an Italian holding

    For the record, let's keep our political opinions out of this, since we all have a strong opinion on the whole war that is going on now, and this is not the right forum to vent those views.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2006
  2. Wendell Wendell

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    Well, actually, Corsica is split into two departements. Besides that, such a POD could drastically alter the history of that region.
     
  3. Viriato Member

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    The problem is it was a League of Nations Class A mandate. That is those that would be given independence once they "reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory."

    So perhaps have the mandates outright conquests as the spoils of war usually were prior to 1914. Then France can annex Lebanon and do as it pleases.
     
  4. HueyLong Banned

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    The thing is, a French Lebanon has less of a chance of staying French than Algeria did.
     
  5. Wendell Wendell

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    That is not necessarily true.

    While you raise a good point, Lebanon is easier to keep divided due to its ethnic and religious diversity.
     
  6. HueyLong Banned

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    But is it being divided going to make it more likely to accept French rule? I don't really think so.

    With an independent Syria and Islamism eventually rearing its ugly head, it cannot stay French easily.
     
  7. Franz Josef II Member

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    I agree with Wendell. The Marionite Catholics as far as I know got on quite well with the French (don't know about the Muslims) so it would be possible - but not necessarily easy - to keep the territory by utilizing the age old method of 'divide et impera.' Also, maybe the French could get a guarantee from the British that they are able to keep Lebanon as a colony instead of a mandate because of how much their country suffered under the Germans in WWI. Could this actually work? I kind of doubt it, but it seems slightly plausible to me, at any rate.
     
  8. Wendell Wendell

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    This is true, and this will make the Suez Crisis interesting. That said, look at Algerian demographics compared to those of Lebanon. Besides, people often support what they see as their economic best interest, and for TTL's Lebanon, that may be to stay out of Syrian hands.
     
  9. Franz Josef II Member

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    Maybe in this timeline a French Lebanon and Israel are close allies as the only oasis of liberal democracy. So Lebanon and Israel are both hated by the Arab middle East for being what they are, but closely support each other. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported today that France wanted to send 100 000 soldiers into south Lebanon as peacekeepers in an attempted settlement (which Lebanon as refused). If France kept Lebanon I would imagine it would have at least 100 000 soldiers (and probably a good part of them would be Christian Lebanese) as a garrison force, with more available of Syria tried anything.
     
  10. Wendell Wendell

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    If France still ran Lebanon...

    Somehow, I don't think Hezbollah would be in southern Lebanon today;)
     
  11. Franz Josef II Member

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    And I think that in addition to this, Israel and Lebanon (and even the Palestinians) would be a LOT happier. Alas, if only this was the case:(
     
  12. benedict XVII Belgian Pope

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    Bit I thought France was the worst anti-Semitic Western country nowadays. Didn't Shamir advocate mass emigration of French Jews to Israel to escape the terrible plight they're currently suffering in France?
     
  13. Hendryk Banned

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    According to certain radical elements within the Likud, but not according to reality.

    And while I can't think of a precise POD, I do think a French Lebanon wouldn't be altogether outside of the realm of plausibility. There is a long Francophile tradition in Lebanon, plus enough Lebanese may consider that a continued French presence guarantees intercommunal peace and provides protection against the Syrians on the one hand and the Israelis on the other.

    Here was the flag of Lebanon from 1920 to 1943, during the French mandate:

    LibaMand.gif
     
  14. mishery Member

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    What about two Lebanons? The French during their mandate split the country roughly along religious lines leading to a christian Rebublic of Noth Lebanon and a muslim Rebublic of South Lebanon after the end of the mandate?

    Maybe Syria annexes the muslim southern republic?

    Maybe as with the sephardi jews, christians in many arab countries are ethnically cleansed and end up in North Lebanon?

    Isreal and North Lebanon end up splitting South Lebanon between them?
     
  15. benedict XVII Belgian Pope

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    This was tongue-in-cheek, from a citizen of the second most anti-semitic Western country.

    Agree with you a French Lebanon may not be total ASB. Would need to include General Dentz rallying de Gaulle and not fighting the Brits and Free French in 1941. In that scenario, no British occupation with its systematic encouragement to rebellion to kick out the French during WWII. The Levant was the thorniest issue in the relationships between de Gaulle and Churchill.