Times have changed!


A CASUAL conversation with a friend whom I haven't met for a long time was an opportunity to move between news headlines. The man is a Lebanese doctor, an immigrant in Canada, who was on a visit to Beirut and I met him in Saudi Arabia.

The first conversation was about the topic of the hour, which is the terrifying and insane spread of the Coronavirus. This is especially so since the doctor told me that he has a great conviction — due to his previous stint in China — that the number of infected people with the disease is several times larger than that was officially announced. “What I knew about them was the lack of transparency and inaccuracy in disclosing information,” the doctor said.

And this in his opinion, shows the negligence, indifference and recklessness taking place in China, an issue that started as a local health crisis, and soon turned into something like a catastrophic international epidemic. This is one of the most important reasons that shows the difference between China and the other first major industrialized countries like Europe, North America and Japan. It is a civilizational, cultural and civil gap. Countries and their standing among nations cannot be measured by national product and trade balance alone.

I also discussed with him the topic or theory of virus warfare, which is a reference that belongs to the conspiracy theory, even if the deadly viruses are proven to be used within "personal, individual, and narrow" limits by the Soviet, Russian, American, and Israeli intelligence services, and therefore "theoretically" it can happen but there is a risk in keeping it geographically confined to a specific area, with an open atmosphere and easy travel and transportation.

We talked about an exciting constitutional issue, specifically the story of the removal of US President Donald Trump, and how the two parties in the conflict dealt with President Trump's opponents from the Democratic Party and his Republican supporters. Democrats in the "case building" stage considered that the president violated the constitution by inserting a foreign government in internal affairs, and this was according to the founding fathers of the American constitution the most important rules for establishing the law to remove the president, and when the "issue" reached the Senate after obtaining the sufficient number of votes required in the House of Representatives.

The judge is the president of the Supreme Constitutional Court and the jury are members of the Senate themselves, and there President Trump's team decided to rely on the law and not the constitution and defend that the guilty should be guilty "without a doubt." The case before us is "doubt," and therefore cannot be guilty, but how can it be a complete case without witnesses? This is what the prosecution calls for. As these lines are written, Senate Majority Leader Metes McConnell says that there cannot be enough votes to prevent the witnesses from being called, an issue that he has been calling and demanding to quickly close the case.

Two local issues have become global due to their great influence on the world. The local has become global, times have really changed!