"Towards More catastrophes
 By: General Michel Aoun
 (Translated by: Elias Bejjani)
 4 June 1998

 Once again we remind our fellow Lebanese that all kinds of elections are like a mirror reflecting many different images. In this context the electoral law and the way the electoral process is managed reflects the state's image. The politician's image is reflected through his nomination, the kinds of coalitions he makes, and the quality of respect he shows for platforms and slogans. The citizen's image is reflected in his manner during the elections in relation to conduct and choices.
 The Lebanese puppet government legislates, every now and then, electoral laws tailored to serve its officials, interests and aims. It strengthens minorities while dispersing majorities, combines certain areas while dividing others, then interferes to corrupt the processes of coalition among nominees. It resorts to mean and illegal pressures, affecting people&'s affairs and interests to manipulate their voting choices. It protects voteİbuying candidates and makes a mockery of integrity and freedom, fakes voters lists and naturalizes, illegally, thousands of non-existing voters in a bid to use their votes in due time and place. It creates artificial numerical majorities, in areas naturally not supportive to the regime.
 This is the current picture of the imposed Mafia-regime in Lebanon. It works within a framework of pseudo-democracy, void of content and meaning, in a bid to make superficial gains while the people of Lebanon lose in heart, in essence. Observing the nominees running in the municipal and mayoral elections, we identify a big group of them preparing themselves for a future role in public life on either municipal or national level. Unfortunately they start their pursuit with personal faults and community misunderstandings. Their electoral platforms are limited to the name given their electoral ticket, and all their slogans are dead and forgotten the moment the voting polls close. They run without any commitment to any cause, loosely shifting their alliances from one electoral ticket to another--as if municipal and mayoral councils are only to distribute seats without commitment to any kind of harmony. Some of these nominees see no problem in forming alliances with government figures if they claim to be in the "opposition", or cooperating with the "opposition" when in fact they are pro-government. For them, taking an opposition or a pro-government stance in any election is just a means of manipulation for securing personal gain.
 The boundless, selfish individuality of a citizen plays an important role in political stances. It begins in his own life, spreads to familial domains and the down , getting broader and broader while the nation's true interest shrinks, getting smaller and smaller, enabling the occupiers to devour everyone. The citizen--the actual victim--commits an act of suicide through faulty choices, when his real intention is to survive quietly and peacefully. Things get lost among family, town and nation. The citizen lives personal, instinctive feelings while unconsciously casting his vote, forgetting all that has happened to him. He behaves exactly like the moth tempted by the light until it bursts into flame.
 At times a lay person loses all rationality in casting his vote, and continues faulty reasoning to engage in a self-destructive process that results in exactly the opposite of what he hopes and calls for. He calls for the reclamation of sovereignty and independence, while at the same time voting for those who sold away both of them. He calls for improvement in his living status and votes for those who starved him. He calls for freedom, and votes for those who oppress. He brags of his dignity and then sells his vote in the market.
 After all that he has committed, and after all the chances for change have been lost, he goes back to crying loudly, complaining of the bad situation. Because of such behavior, the situation on all national and public levels is going from bad to worse and moving towards catastrophe. And yet, in spite of all these difficulties, disappointments and hardships, we shall continue to educate, orient, caution, support, guide and reprimand. Our patriotic obligation dictates that we help and lead our Lebanese society towards responsible national practices. Those of us who have reached this status must continue to carry their crosses, and work on reaching those who have not.