The Magic Solution
By: Colonel Fayez Karam
(Free translation by: Elias Bejjani)

Every time the Lebanese puppet officials are faced with disastrous national economical and living situations, the government meets, thinks and explores for answers till its members create the magic solution. The always-ready magic solution for all the incurable conditions is taken out of dusty drawers and thrown in the people’s faces. The officials pose with these marvelous innovations that always bring "tax increases". The citizens and only the citizens bear the responsibility and carry the burden.

The regime’s officials apparent quest is to do as civilized countries does, but the outcome of their actual conduct turns out to be much worse than the governments of ignorance, custody and awkwardness. Puppet Ministers appointed by the occupier are granted rotating turns in the cabinet. The main focus of these mercenary ministers is abuse of the country, securing their own personal status, stealing and cheating the people and abiding only by the master’s directions. They remember everything and commit every atrocity but always forget that the judgement day is inevitable and shall one day come.

It is a fact that taxes are extremely vital for survival of nations and for providing money needed for implementation of beneficial, productive national projects in a bid to ensure self-sufficiency and protect the public interests. Taxes are a kind of guarantee in which the public participates for facing difficult times and for providing social justice. Accordingly taxes should not be paid under any circumstances as bribes to corrupted rulers to cover the expenses of their deficit precipitated by unproductive projects that were implemented without any scientific planning or proper management
Taxpayers in Lebanon ask the following questions:
What does the state give them in return for the taxes they pay?
Do all citizens share equally in paying taxes without discrimination or exception?
Do the poor and the rich each pay according to their income and wealth, or do the poor classes alone carry the main burden?
Where are the productive projects that positively effect the taxpayers?
The puppet officials borrow to finance their unproductive construction projects and exempt them from taxes. They steal from both the state and the citizenry while their projects yield no income.

The Hariri ex-governments, for six successive years in power kept on borrowing billions of dollars to build in downtown Beirut, skyscrapers, luxurious offices and complexes for thousands of foreign companies. They started executing these non-productive construction projects before even knowing that these companies were willing to come to Lebanon and work on real estate that was stolen by force and connivery from its original owners. The original owners of Downtown Beirut, after their land was confiscated by the Hariri Solidere Construction Company, were given shares whose price is fully controlled by Solidere. Is this the kind of reconstruction and projects that Lebanon needs?

Does Lebanon need an airport that accommodates ten million tourists with a price exceeding three or four times its actual cost? Naming all the unproductive projects the regime undertook after 1990 would require a long, long list.
What in fact the Lebanese citizen wants at the present time and before anything else, is to see that the standard of life he is struggling with relates with some realism to the amount of taxes he pays.
The citizen wants to be sure that the taxes he pays go to the state coffer and not to the pockets of those official mercenary puppets installed by the occupier.
The citizen wants to see the taxes they pay are invested in securing their children's future. They want the tax money to cover programs like free medical services, unemployment security, free accessibility to job training programs, old age pension security, free education, welfare assistance to the needy, safe roads and highways, enforcement of laws, respect for human rights, no labor foreign competition, and security through Lebanese forces. They want to be reassured that officials who steal are charged, tried and made to pay for their illegal acts.

A State cannot be erected on indifference and laissez-faire stances, and there is no doubt it cannot prosper in following the principle that says, "Let’s forget what has happened in the past." Making rulers and officials accountable for their acts while in office, no matter what their status might be, ensures the resurrection of Lebanon and helps the citizens to again have confidence in their State. It also encourages investors, especially those Lebanese that have left the country, to return back home with their money and investments. Justice, fairness, equality, transparency and honesty ensure a better future for Lebanon and for its people. They are the needed bricks to build a civilized modern free and democratic country. This shall be a country in which we all know that our tax money shall be wisely used to finance a fair social justice and to secure our future and old age, as well as the future of our children and grandchildren.

Long Live Free Lebanon.
France, April 23/1999