Please allow me, at first, to ask for your forgiveness for such an arrogant title. I have criticized, in previous posts, those who treat others of being “stupid”, considering that no one owns the absolute truth about anything. Pleading for my own cause, however, this is not directed towards any political side in particular, but all of them.
Previous posts might have exhaled a whiff of anti-Hizbullah–or anti-March 8–stances, so let me be clear: I am highly critical of both March 8 and March 14. I believe that the March 8 criticism of March 14 is relevant, and conversely that the March 14 criticism of March 8 is also relevant; this said, I reject them both and adhere to none.
So pardon me if I might have hurt your feelings if you like one of these two sides. I will have the occasion to justify myself, but I will not be apologetic henceforth. This is an important post. I am concerned. The Lebanese electors deeply disappoint me.
In short, the Lebanese electors are cowards and masochists. Afraid of not voting for the same clique, childishly complaining about a damage they themselves provoked. They are the sole responsible of their own misfortune; they are to blame.
My political opinion? No sympathy for theocrats, ploutocrats, beks, sheykhs, Generals, zu’amas, former militiamen turned officials; no sympathy for heirs, for “sons of”; no sympathy for political noblesse. Is it too much to ask for self-made politicians who make no compromise over sovereignty, freedom, independence? Politicians who refuse that any government or head of state be appointed, or agreed upon, in foreign countries, no matter what any moral link might exist with them. Besides, I am not afraid of technocrats and other people devoting themselves exclusively for developmental issues. I remember watching this bek, whom I will not name, claiming that technocrats cannot cope with “real” politics, meaning politics of alignment with this or that regional axis. We need you so much, bek… not.
To be honest with you, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is not in my priorities. How much do the Lebanese taxpayers contribute to it anyway? I would like to see, hear, and read that number more often.
What is in my priorities, however, is a decent living for the Lebanese.
(1) First of all: no more power cuts. The war is over 20 years ago. Utopia? We have enough wind in Lebanon, so let us take advantage of windmills and wind power plants. Impossible to do? Projects have been designed and they work. But nobody takes the decision.
We have enough sun in Lebanon, so let us use solar energy. Very easy to do. No political decision.
(2) Second, 24/7 domestic water supply. Did you know that 47% of the rainfall in Lebanon goes into the sea? What a waste. Even with little rain, we could bridge the gap and have enough water, or at least a reasonable amount. That water could also be used for energy purposes. Projects exist since years and years. Only on papers.
(3) Third, less traffic through better public transportation. Am I a dreamer? Trolley/streetcar lines existed under the French mandate until the 1970s. However, the post-war reconstruction policies of the 1990s and 2000s have totally obliterated any hope to restore them. No possibility for that anymore.
I am personally against the creation of metro/subway lines. Beirut’s underground is too archaeologically precious to destroy. It has been destroyed enough.
Let us have decent, clean, classier buses. More bus lines. Bus stops. Stations. Itineraries. A systematic, rationalized, and timely bus system.
We forgot about trains. Train lines existed since Ottoman times. There was a coastal train line linking Istanbul to Akko/’Akka, Palestine. Restoring the line from Tripoli to Tyre would suffice. Guess what, a complete project, for that too, also exists. But no: certain illegal owners of coastal lands, who happen to be politicians, would have to relinquish “their” properties. These properties belong to the Lebanese state.
Beirut-Damascus was a second train line, via Hammana and Sawfar (Sofar). The third train line went from Ryaq (Rayak) to Aleppo, via Homs and Hama. Good ole times. All we bicker about today is the STL and “political sectarianism”. Appalling indeed.
So we choose to be stupid. We were stupid before Diesel Jeans launched his “Be Stupid” campaign. Look at our news websites: Siyese.com, NowLebanon.com, CourrierLibanais.com, LebanonDebate.com, and YaLibnan.com. It’s 95% politics, and they all wonderfully miss the point. What we need is development. Environment, economy, education. The issues that really matter.
And then we wonder why we suffer.