"The Budget Sessions of the Fraudulent Parliament"
By: General Michel Aoun

(Translated By: Elias Bejjani)
6 February 1998

During the last seven years, since 1990, Lebanon has suffered an extraordinary proliferation of puppet politicians devastating the quality of the country's political life. The national performance standards of politicians have declined dramatically to reach unacceptable levels.

Under the "brotherly" Syrian occupation of 1990, qualifications and requirements for parliamentary nomination have taken an undemocratic track. The procedure starts with an arranged visit to one of the occupation's intelligence bureaus, an audition (involving much bowing and kneeling), a complete written and verbal commitment to subservience and treason, a big chunk of $$$, and the way is paved to parliamentary office. Once the nominee's credentials are Syrianised (made acceptable), he becomes a fertilized egg in Lebanon's parliamentary incubator.

The hatching takes place during the so-called "election day." With the collective votes of the dead, collaborators, immigrants, and newly naturalized citizens, covered with the decorum of trivial public services and other deceitful means, the 128 MP's hatch to form the fraudulent parliament. France would have some 1500 MPs (three times the current figure) if it used the present Lebanese percentage equation.

The Lebanese are fully aware of the horrendous Syrian pressures exerted during and after the "Taif Accord" to increase the numbers of MPs from 99 to 128. The increased figure made it possible for Damascus to create a parliamentary majority of puppets blindly loyal and subservient to its wishes. Syria manipulates this parliamentary majority within the context of its political agenda in order to discipline and immobilize those within the regime when they are non-compliant, and to confront those opposing its occupation. It is true that the MPs are empty trumpets and windbags, producing a great cacophony, all noise and commotion.

This skewed political milieu would not have prevailed if Lebanese attitudes were responsibly knowledgeable, patriotically oriented, free from domestic and tribal complexes and more committed to their national principles. The dominant Lebanese tribalism made it possible for the Syrian Intelligence to successfully infiltrate numerous large Lebanese families and persuade them to have their own nominee in the parliamentary elections. Each of these families was misled to believe that Damascus supports their nominees to become MPs. Many MP nominees, betting on themselves and abandoning the Lebanese national cause, lost themselves and their posts.

During the Syrian-orchestrated election campaign of 1996, the nominees' self-colored portraits filled the country, but on election day the ballot boxes remained almost empty. The portraits remained hanging on the walls all over the country until the rains washed them away (but not their underlying plague).

During the recent parliamentary budget debates, the people of Lebanon were bitterly reminded of this election debacle. In reality, a parliament of puppets represents only the puppet masters, not the Lebanese people.