ArDO: Yes we want Lebanon to be the Switzerland of the East and Beirut the Paris of the East


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By Riad Awwad


            "Lebanon of democracy" and "Switzerland of the Middle East", like it is being called, has become a country in witch anarchy and destruction have settled, especially after the assassination of former prime-minister Rafik Al-Hariri and after a series of other political assassinations to witch personalities of a certain political color, different from the one of the foreign presence, have fallen victims. Once the Syrian army retreated from Lebanon, in 2005, after a 30 year presence in this country, Lebanon found itself before the imperative to eradicate the chaos created by international interferences (Syria, Iran, Israel)  and the one of the great powers (USA, France).
            The acting president, Emile Lahoud, ends his mandate on the 23rd of November 2007, so Damascus will lose a chief of state Lebanese by identity and Syrian by mentality and feeling. Syria cramps to the Lebanese trump according to the "to be or not to be" law, and the president of the parliament in Beirut, Nabib Berri is also a soldier faithful to Syria, just like the Hezbollah movement, considered to be an active battalion of Damascus in Lebanon, together with other currents and personalities in this country - The Baas party, Syrian Social National Party, or a series of Palestinian factions like "The Peoples Front-General Command, Fattah AL-Islam and so on witch, all, constitute fuel for the Syrian presence on Lebanese territory.
                The presidential elections have been postponed three times, and seems will be postponed even further, because the parliamentary majority lead by member of the parliament Saad Hariri together with Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, wish the future chief of state to be of Lebanese extraction and orientation exclusively, a president dedicated to the Lebanese dignity and free of any exterior dependence, while the opposing forces wish the future president to be a simple soldier devoted to Syria, fact witch makes their choice orientated to the superannuated figure of general Michel Aoun, one willing to reach the high position in the state even by stepping over the bodies of the Christian community. Like Nero, he is only interested in power, after he followed Amin Gemayel as president, in 1995, and ruined the country, being then constrained by the Syrians themselves to choose the way of exile in France until the year 2005. Not even the Maronite patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir managed to play more active of a role, fearing for the unity of the Lebanese Christians, in this country fallen victim to the ambitions of local and external forces. Iran wishes for a Lebanon that can serve as a combat front with the US and Israel; Syria looks to foreclose the application of the decisions to be made by the international court which investigates the death of former prime minister Rafik Al-Hariri, eventually by repeating the civil war and by enlarging the gap which separates the legitimate government from the pro Syrian-Iranian opposition. The crisis could not be solved, even after the mediation demarches made by The Arab League, France or US. The powerful political cleavage on internal matters, and the external encroachment had both a strong contribution also on this situation.
            According to the Constitution, the president of Lebanon is elected with a majority of two thirds, and if none of the candidates reaches this level then he will be elected with a simple majority of votes in the first poll, which, until now, the opposition has boycotted, in the hope that they could superimpose General Michel Aoun, in the conditions of boycotting the efforts for obtaining the majority of two thirds, which means that the perspective of electing a new president remains, at the time, a long way to go.
            But in Annapolis , we suppose that a Syrian - American agreement took place, and the name of the general in army Michel Suleiman could suddenly appear in the picture, no one knows for sure.
            A president exclusively Lebanese: no one has managed, this far along the way, to truly define the meaning of this dream, and Lebanon - the country of cedars and peace, remains a country resembling a fragile leaf in the winds of a storm, caught between the Syrian hammer and the international anvil, making the Lebanese citizen - be him Christian or Muslim, the only victim

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