"Guards and Foxes"
 By: General Michel Aoun
 (Translated by: Elias Bejjani)
 7 August 1998

 The political cockfight within Lebanon's government is escalating every day. Their masters, the "brotherly occupants", opened the cages and let all them loose. Their assignment is to feature the last scene in a play of treason and humiliation.
 After Lebanon's stage became too small, they had to transfer the play to Cairo. Their scandals got bigger and needed long-range staged accusations from outside Lebanon's borders in order to convince the whole Arab world that the Lebanese people are still retarded and need a guardian to nurture and discipline them until they reach maturity.
 Damascus is the writer, producer and director of this drama played out by Lebanese officials. It dictates and encourages these patterns of controlled conflicts and rewards the actors. Such staged-acts absorb people's anger and divert their focus from critical national and economic hardships to trivial issues.
 The Lebanese people are questioning the role of their country's media role in this ongoing official charade. They are wondering if this media is still Lebanese and really concerned about the devastating events that have unfolded, or has alienated itself to see only news in the news and nothing else?
 Members of the ruling troika (the three presidents: Herawi, Beri, Hariri) have been exchanging accusations of public theft. Hariri's cabinet ministers followed the steps of their masters and added more to the charade. Scandals are piling up in every government institution and ministry. In spite of this, not even one newspaper had the decency or the courage to call for the government's resignation, or for a judicial investigation of the accused officials. Is the media getting a cut of government revenue for this silence?
 Where is the Parliament? We predicted before the fraudulent elections that its role would be marginal and that any opposition under the puppet regime's umbrella would be a ludicrous farce. But it never crossed our minds that it would reach such a pathetic state of helplessness and complete incapacitation. Has this Parliament has abandoned its role because it is getting a cut of government revenue?
 What about the judiciary and the role of its Attorney General's office? What actions have been initiated to investigate the hundreds of officials accused of theft and embezzlement? Is the judiciary happy with its forgery role? Is it a fact the judiciary has become an obedient puppet body in the hands of the rulers performing all its duties in accordance with their instructions? It is true the judiciary is creating, faking and destroying legal cases in accordance with the rulers' demands and wishes?
 Lebanon's crisis is getting worse every day and everything is eroding and in the process of disintegration. Some afflicted Lebanese fake paralysis and count the days, deluding themselves into believing that time will bring about a solution from heaven. Others appease the authorities in a bid to avoid their wrath. Both behaviors are wrong because time is like an empty container--nothing comes out of it when originally nothing was put there. It is a proven fact that emptiness yields only emptiness.
 Those who take refuge under the puppet authority's wings do exactly like the lamb who runs from the wolf, asking the butcher for protection..It escaped the wolf's stomach only to end up being slaughtered by the butcher's sharp knife.
 The prospects of the general situation in occupied Lebanon are extremely gloomy and will get worse every day. They are escalating the pace towards holistic disaster. We have been waiting for the promised regime's spring since 1993, but it never came. What we got instead was a continuous cold winter with no other seasons.
 We believe that, in spite of all the ongoing hardships and agony, there is still a possibility of stopping the occurrence of imminent catastrophe and reverse its course. To be able to do so, we must take the right national decisions and work together with determined will and defined objectives.
 The first clause of our decision must be an immediate halt to all political theoretical and rhetorical analysis aimed to divert the people's focus from the occupation to trivial matters. We have to prepare our brooms and get to work... Our arms, and only our arms, can clean the country.