Prescient words from Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran in 1934…
Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave,
eats a bread it does not harvest,
and drinks a wine that flows not from its own wine-press.
Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero,
and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.
Pity the nation that despises a passion in its dream,
yet submits in its awakening.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice
save when it walks in a funeral,
boasts not except among its ruins,
and will rebel not save when its neck
is laid between the sword and the block.
Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox,
whose philosopher is a juggler, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.
Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpetings, and farewells him with hootings,
only to welcome another with trumpetings again.
Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.
Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.