The Stone City

Words Made to Last

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Michael Young, writing at Tech Central Station, discusses Lebanon's future. He includes this, about Syrian siphoning of Lebanon's [comparative] wealth:
At the same time, Syria extorted vast sums of money from the Lebanese economy, usually in collaboration with local politicians. According to a report written by a Lebanese businessman for a presentation before the French Senate in 2003, Syria may have extracted through illicit activities alone as much as $41 million from Lebanon between 1991 and 2001. While the figures cannot be confirmed, they square with many other estimates circulating in recent years.
That's one dollar, per person, per year. For the alleged pillage of an entire nation, this is an absurdly small sum. So, if these "many estimates" are not all ridiculously low, I think it is safe to conclude that there was no high-level policy in Syria to extract money from Lebanon.

[Hat tip: Instapundit.]