"Mercenary Writers"
 By: General Michel Aoun
 (Translated by: Elias Bejjani)
 10 July 1998

 How sad it is for one's own thinking process to betray its entity. How painful it is for a writer's pen to be smashed on its own. How ill it is for those professional journalists and writers who specialize in public affairs to subject their profession to market forces of supply and demand.
 How shameful it is that the financial Mafia in Lebanon has been able to buy some journalists and entice others. How unprofessional for all of these to be dragged into polluted dumps, scribbling their writings with mud and dirt instead of ink.
 This Mafia elevated the socio-economic status of journalists, but at the same time corrupted their morals and turned them into submissive puppets and harmful tools in the hands of others.
 These mercenary tools employed their critical senses to destroy others through fabrication of the facts and misleading analysis regarding causes and effects. They utilized their efforts and resources laboriously in media campaigns designed to mislead public opinion along the wrong track.
 These writers and journalists intentionally overlooked past scandals for which no one has yet been held accountable, and kept tight lips in relation to ongoing scandals affecting every Lebanese citizen. They disregarded past crimes of murder and encouraged current crimes committed against the memory of the Lebanese people. They are not only keeping silent in relation to the country's occupation, but also trying to impose a generalized public sense of frustration, helplessness and hopelessness. They are hired to destroy the people's will and morals, and to portray those who call for sovereignty and independence as irrational lunatics. All of these atrocities and misleading schemes are happening in Lebanon. Lebanon, a founding member of the United Nations, remains at the end of the 20th century the only occupied country in the whole world.
 The worst of all is their crime of killing peoples' dreams, creative impulses, and innovation, dragging them into a stagnant, monotonous style of daily living . They are turning people into machine-like creatures devoid of feelings and perceptions--people with very limited conceptual horizons and initiatives for change and inability to free themselves from a sinister imposed status quo.
 These writers who preferred to satisfy their hunger instead of their conscience cannot be pioneers for change. On the contrary their role as mercenaries have superseded the impact of the actual crime.
 Is it acceptable for the society that has banned the gun's crime to allow its occurrence through the pen?