"The Second Republic, a Crime Model"
 By: General Michel Aoun
 (Translated by: Elias Bejjani)
 26 July 1998

 Those who follow Lebanon's news are astonished by the escalating daily rate of crimes, robberies, armed break-ins, etc. These atrocities became familiar and regular media headlines, while people talk about them continuously in their homes, work places and on the streets.
 People's fear of unpleasant surprises fills their hearts either at work, on the roads heading back home or while in their bedrooms behind closed doors.
 The Lebanese citizen is exposed to assault every time a criminal alien believes there is money, jewelry or other valuables on him. The citizen is scared not only of thieves who steal, but also of criminals who murder in cold blood.
 No one in the whole world ignores the fact that crime stems from absence of legal and ethical restraints in general, and from conditions of extreme poverty in particular.
 It is naive and ignorant to believe that deterring crime can be achieved through the televised execution of criminals. Generally, those who are committing crimes in Lebanon do not watch TV programs, have their own non-Lebanese identity and enter the country through its non-controlled borders. They have no jobs or fixed addresses. Some live from panhandling and reside under highway bridges, and some kill for a thousand and one other reasons.
 Lebanon is unable to accommodate the huge number of foreigners (around two million. 1.5 million of them are Syrians) after its natural and human resources have been depleted and its job opportunities gone. Lebanese who immigrate to other countries looking for work are exposed to strict conditions before they are accepted as immigrants or given work permits. These conditions include a work contract, a secure place to live and a legal history which the authorities in these countries check extensively and thoroughly.
 Is it acceptable to allow any foreigner to enter Lebanon without any conditions or restrictions or even a registry for his name or knowledge of his destination and intentions? Is the purpose to exchange our known Lebanese citizens with unknown foreigners?
 Exhibiting exaggerated claims of "brotherhood" with regard to Syria, leaving the borders without any controls, increasing poverty, canceling job opportunities, imposing economically devastating policies and destroying the developmental sectors are all negative factors that condition the right milieu for crime.
 It is stunning to know that some in Lebanon steal and murder merely to satisfy their urge to add more and more to their huge fortunes. These same criminals then turn around and execute impoverished citizens for stealing to fill their empty starving stomachs.
 Is this not the model presented to us by the second Lebanese republic?