The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:

When the political climate of a country deteriorates, all other sectors suffer because the public affairs of the people are ultimately connected to the political situation. If politics become corrupted, then everything else declines, which is why the collapsing economic, financial, social, administrative, security, and moral condition of Lebanon is a natural and inevitable reflection of the declining state of politics that has metastasized like a cancer in the body politic of the state’s hierarchy.

In addition, the chronic Syrian occupation of Lebanon has contributed enormously to amplify the rampant corruption that is unprecedented in the country’s history, first because the occupation has been sucking the lifeblood of the country for three decades, and second, because it found the lowest and basest individuals to grant them the authority and the power. In exchange for the cover they provided the occupier to stay indefinitely in the country, these individuals were given the necessary support to completely destroy whatever was left of the country’s resources by dividing them up amongst themselves. For this reason, Lebanon is now a prey in the hands of this horde of corrupt people, cheaters, bloody butchers, inside agents, highway robbers and worshippers of the mighty dollar.

And so we cry and laugh when we read that these miscreants have met in a “Council of Ministers” to address some crisis, because the disease cannot be cured with its own causing agent, and corruption can only beckon more corruption. All their solutions are stillborn and mere patch-overs that leave the problems ongoing and the crises exacerbated and piling up until one day they all explode at once. Yet, the corrupt people remain in power and insist on fooling the people by saying they are working for them.

Take for instance the electric power crisis. We find that this mafia called the government has met dozens of times to address the crisis but with not one glimmer of a solution, even though the State’s Electric Utility has consumed so far close to 12 Billion dollars of the Treasury – the people’s own money – which is nearly a third of the country’s debt. Yet, the crisis has not abated. It in fact has grown, and the electric shortages are constant and power always cut off, except of course in the palaces and fancy homes of their Excellencies. Electricity rates and bills keep on rising and payment compliance is enforced only on the decent and honest citizens of the country, while the security safe havens that are out of reach of the law get away with murder. In fact, most of the Lebanese people pay two bills: One to the aforementioned State utility, and the second to the owners of electric generators that guarantee them some electric power during the rationing and downtime caused by the State utility. This is only the tip of the iceberg, and the corrupt state of this institution is but a prototype of the rampant corruption in all the country’s institutions. Truly, the State in Lebanon lives up to its reputation as Ali Baba’s cave and its 40 thieves.

As to the “SWAP” project that is everywhere in the media and on people’s minds, and which was recently approved by Ali Baba’s government under the guise of a solution to the financial crisis, it is no more than substituting new debts for old ones. This is running forward of the problem since it entails securing another set of huge loans from some banks at a higher interest rate to cover previous debts that have become due. The net outcome is to postpone the public debt crisis that has now exceeded 35 Billion dollars without in the least addressing its root causes, namely the need to reduce spending and increase the State’s revenues.

The corruption in the government is reflected in the behavior of people who follow their leaders. Ethical codes of conduct disappear, embezzlement and theft crimes increase, and a dog-eat-dog climate of greed for dirty money sets in. One example of this phenomenon is the import by a company of tons of spoiled beef from India and selling the meat at low prices to low income people. When asked if he felt guilty or if his conscience bothered him about his act, one of the company’s owners answered bluntly, “No one has yet died from food poisoning”!!

The other ugly symptom that hurts every decent Lebanese in their dignity and pride is the appearance of Lebanese girls on the streets of the country who sell their bodies to the Arab “brethrens” in order to put food on their family’s tables!

This is the bitter reality we have arrived at under the rule of the filthy people in power today. This is the Lebanon that was once called the “granaries of Rome” for its huge wheat exports to the Roman Empire. That Lebanon has become a mendicant beggar thanks to the butchers and highway robbers who call themselves the government and rule over the destiny of the people of Lebanon.

Lebanon , at your service

Abu Arz,

25 June 2004