The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:

It is rather unfathomable why this dummy that Syria installed in the presidency in Baabda for the past 6 years really wants to renew his term for another 6 years or extend it for 3 additional years, like his predecessor and dummy colleague who squatted in Baabda for 9 consecutive years with no other qualification than his boundless treason and complete obedience to the whims of the Syrian occupation.

It is equally mind boggling that this dummy who has exceeded his predecessor in the extent of his collaboration and subservience to the Syrian occupation, and who went a long way to trash the dignity of the presidency and empty it of its substance, really wants to stay in Baabda. And as if to add insult to injury, and while his cronies have launched a campaign to market him for another term, he has made a vow of silence, neither confirming nor denying his intentions in a ploy to fool people that he is above the petty greed for power.

One may argue that this approach is acceptable and justifiable in one's bid to the presidency. It is after all a demagogic style adopted by many candidates before him and which consists in pretending to be disinterested so as to hide one's real intentions. But what is unacceptable and unjustifiable is the new Machiavellian approach taken by many candidates in this cursed era of Taef, namely their outbidding of each other for their loyalty to Syria as a means to get into Baabda as if the end justifies the means. Indeed, the sole criterion in choosing a president has become the candidate's disposition to please and appease the occupier in a formula that goes something like this: The closer to the Syrian occupation, the closer they get to the presidency, and vice-versa. Which may be re-phrased as follows: The farther away they are from Lebanon, the closer they get to the presidency, and vice-versa. This is by far the most dangerous and terrifying precedent in Lebanese politics, whereby the treason of Lebanon has become an essential condition for selecting rulers and leaders and the top attribute of a president to be.

We refuse to believe that this dummy, who has neither the people's nor the constitutional legitimacy, insists on staying even one more day in Baabda after the end of his miserable term, not only because of the endless hatred that the Lebanese people have for him but also because the vast majority of the Lebanese people consider his presidency to have been by far the worst of all past administrations. His presidency is in fact the least popular, the most involved in corruption and scandals, and with the greatest achievements in impoverishing and overtaxing the people, sinking the treasury under unprecedented debt, emptying the country of its young people, and making theft and embezzlement and cronyism pervasive throughout the nation's institutions and administrations. His presidency has been a top performer in spreading despair, disgust and defeatism across the country, providing the money whales and competing political gangs with the freedom to thrive at the expense of the Lebanese people, and offering room for terrorists and fundamentalist organizations throughout the country to flourish and grow. Not to mention his endless subservience to the Syrians.

One has to recall his inaugural speech in which he promised to build a "State of Law and Institutions" and to cut off the hands of thieves to realize that this has turned out to be a joke with which the Lebanese can, sadly, only entertain themselves. For the "State of Law and Institutions" has become a "State of Thieves and Mafiosi", and instead of cutting off the hands of the thieves who have sucked the last penny out of the people's pockets, it has cut off the breath out of people's lives, it has humiliated them and dragged their dignity into the dirt and their country into the cesspool of nations.

But to be fair to the dummy, we have to recognize that perhaps his sole accomplishment is to have united the Lebanese people against him, since both the opposition and the loyalists abhor him and want him out of office!

As to the so-called Parliament, and which some still take seriously and think it can decisively resolve the upcoming presidential elections, it unfortunately has been transformed by the occupation into no more than a rubber-stamp cheering bunch.

In the final analysis, if the US administration is serious in keeping its promise of freeing the upcoming presidential elections in Lebanon from the Syrian juggernaut, it better start taking the necessary measures before it is too late. For keeping the present dummy in the presidency or just replacing him with other Syrian dummies will certainly lead to the final annihilation of Lebanon as we know it, and no regrets and apologies, no matter how sincere, will do any good at that point.

Lebanon , at your service

Abu Arz,

02 July 2004