"Lebanon the Municipality, and the Municipalities"
 By: General Michel Aoun
 (Translated by: Elias Bejjani)
 15 May 1998

 In the heated debate on the upcoming municipal and mayoral elections the Lebanese differ in their critical opinions between extreme self blame and self forgiveness. Some say that the Lebanese lack collective memory, repeat their electoral behaviour patterns without any awareness for the meaning of the election process itself, and do not benefit from previous experience in this field. They claim too, that Lebanese people are like machines programmed to accept political feudalism with familial and denominational patterns of behaviour, in which they are trapped and unable to free themselves.
 Others say while it is true that the Lebanese are modernized in the way they dress, eat and enjoy life, their other life concepts in general go back to the stone age and are unrelated to the spirit of modernization, especially in the domain of public life. Some Lebanese, and they are not a minority, believe that Members of Parliament (MP's) are merely parts of wedding and funeral decorations. They elect them on this basis, ignoring the vital legislative and monitoring national roles of the parliament members.
 They even go further in estimating M.P's power and authority through trivial matters like realizing a psychopath from jail after stabbing a decent citizen or breaking into his neighbor's house ... and always the proof of power comes on the account of the victims. Lebanese give M.P's preference to protect then from administrative penalties. The M.P's themselves encourage citizens to break the law in a bid to justify their illegal rescue interventions, rendering the rescued citizen eternal hostages for election days. Accordingly, we see many towns and villages represented by illiterate Map's while hundreds of their residents are university graduates.
 Some perverted citizens in a bid to philosophize their wicked actions try to convince themselves and others that they are tired of opposition. Is the opposition responsible for imposing increased taxes, squandering public money, corruption, displacement, immigration, lack of security, bribery, infringements on human rights, assaults on innocent citizens and impediment of public services? Opposition in its essence is the act of rejecting all of these misdeeds and the means of ending all infringements on individual rights.
 While the date for the municipal and mayoral elections is very close, we remind our people of their national obligations and responsibilities. The Free National Current calls on the Lebanese to help in the change through the elections, for God's will starts from here. Almighty God will not help us change anything unless and until we change ourselves first. The situation in Lebanon will become more and more pathetic if we the Lebanese people accept our status as slaves, protecting psychopaths and electing M.P's and other public servants who are ready to sell out the country and its people for their own personal interests.
 The Free national current's battle is to liberate people from the hostage and subservience mentality, so that Lebanon will not be a mere municipality in the surrounding region. Our battle is a victory in itself, for its the start of radical change. Dear fellow Lebanese, don't behold the elections merely in terms of the municipal or mayoral seats gained. Look at them as an effective vehicle for continuing the process of escaping Lebanon's current morass--a change from primitive political practices to modernization and scientific thinking. The ultimate goal shall be establishing a healthy nation in which the Lebanese can enjoy a genuine national peace based on prosperity, freedom and security.