I read about your warning in Sada al-Balad today and I would like to bring to your attention a number of points. First of all, let me tell you that I do not think you should be a presidential hopeful, let alone a candidate. I do not think that someone who was not popular enough to be elected as a MP would be popular enough to become the president of the republic. How did that saying go: Every Maronite is born with the dream of becoming the president of Lebanon? Anyhow, I find that statement funny to say the least, and, sadly and scarily true. Mr. Nassib Lahoud, you, Mr. Butros Harb – and heck, let me add – Mr. Michel Aoun, are all cases in point.
Back to the point: I have highlighted the points in your warning that I disagree with. Allow me to address those briefly. You warn against a return to the past situation where Lebanon was a field where external conflicts were fought. A return?? Mr. Lahoud, I am honestly beginning to think that you are living on another planet. A return???? Since when was Lebanon NOT a battlefield for external disagreements and power struggles? What, you think the current situation smells of “Lebanon is not a field for external conflicts”?? I congratulate you for being so naive, Mr. presidential-hopeful. I just hope that you would not be so naive – or shall I be brutally honest – stupid and totally out of touch with reality if you become a president. The second point that I would like to make – and I have not highlighted this one – is that I really wish you would be as fierce in your criticism of the government for failing to control the security situation in the country as you are in your accusations of continuing Syrian interference in Lebanese affairs. I wish you would call the government’s failure more than just an innocent التساهل في الامساك بالامن . I am as disappointed with your warning as I am with the racist wording used by Mr. Michel Aoun to describe those who torched the Danish embassy. And I am left wondering, is there a Maronite in this country who would not use just about any word or expression in order to sit on the presidential chair? I’m afraid my answer does not inspire hope.
The third, and final point that I would like to make is about the desire to build the state and revive the economy. Do you seriously think that the current sectarian set-up is really conducive of state-building and revival of the economy?? I wish you would elaborate more on your idea of state-building, Mr. Lahoud, because I am convinced that a system that glorifies zu’ama (tribal / sectarian elites) who have private parties (most of which used to be militias back in the good-old-days of “state-building”) and who rule and take decisions without consulting the people or caring much about their wishes, can ONLY ensure the welfare of these elites. I should also add that – and it pains me to admit this, Mr. Lahoud – the people of Lebanon are sheep. They only talk and talk about how they are a bastion of democracy in the Arab world without realizing that their mentality is not one of democracy but of reinforcing and consolidating the role of the undemocratic zu’ama who have not done anything to build the state or revive the economy and instead think about how to get rid of their rivals (by bombs or by incitement). 62 years and still going strong (and the Lebanese blame Syria, Palestinians, and Israel for destroying Lebanon!!! What a consolation!). I’ll tell you what, at the rate this is going (or not going, depends on whether I view it from my perspective or your disillusioned, feverish warnings and hopes) I am inclined to give the undemocratic Arab world the edge over the oh-so-democratic Lebanon, because at least the people there are not fooling themselves, whereas you, and I dare say 99% of the Lebanese are so deep into self-deception that they can no longer tell the difference between stupidity and democracy.
I thank you for your time, Mr. Lahoud, and I sincerely wish you the best in achieving your state-building and economy-reviving agenda.