Open Letter to Lebanese PM Tammam Salam

August 26, 2015

Dear Reader,
Greetings and Good Day,
Institutions are “stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior.” As structures or mechanisms of social order, they govern the behavior of a set of individuals within a given community. Institutions are identified with a social purpose, transcending individuals and intentions by mediating the rules that govern living behavior. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institution

In light of the actual stalemate in the Lebanese political affairs best expressed by the sharp division between the two failed alliances (14 and 8 March), blocking the illegitimate parliament and impeding the election of a new president of the republic, major scandals do persist and multiply.
This present dissolution of the values and the ethics of the state representatives, be them in the cabinet or in the parliament, inundated so far the public sphere and the national interests with a wave of corruption, incompetence and failure, hence one needs to ask what next?
We all know that there is an ongoing protest, where many representatives of “We The People “ the collectivity of the citizenry and the entirety of the civil society, will try to form beforehand a unified command and structure to express the demands during the demonstration called for Saturday 29 August at 18h00.

Therefore the momentum is ripe to select the right, unified and proper demand or demands of all the people.
Whenever we wish to find institutional solutions, perhaps we need to go through the Lebanese constitution although it has many gaps. In fact the Prime minister doesn’t have the constitutional right to revoke the mandate of a minister or to nominate a new one, only a collective action of the council of ministers can implement this theoretical option, therefore in presence of the drift, schism and dualism within the corrupt and inefficient political class, the constitution offers few or no options to pursue a political solution from within the Republic legal perimeter.
http://www.presidency.gov.lb/English/LebaneseSystem/Documents/Lebanese%20Constitution.pdf
Going through the constitution, We will find that as per article 69 the Government shall be considered resigned in 3 cases, one of these is when the Prime Minister resigns; and we will find also that When the Council resigns or is considered resigned, the Chamber of Deputies shall automatically be convened in extraordinary session until a new Council has been formed and has gained the Chamber’s confidence.
Yet it will be impossible to elect a new president by the illegitimate parliament simply because they can’t agree on one, and this is crystal clear after more than one year of patient waiting.
So if the PM can’t revoke the mandate of acting ministers due to their poor performance as explained in the following link http://www.pcm.gov.lb/arabic/faq.aspx?pageid=41
And he can’t nominate new ones to improve the overall relationship between the cabinet and the constituency, then there is only one solution left and that is his own resignation. As per the constitution the resignation of the PM will be effective if signed by the president of the republic or by the Council of Ministers who shall exercise the authorities of the President by delegation in case of vacancy, which is the truth of the Lebanese conundrum.
One could ask for the implementation of Article 95 of the constitution, where The Chamber of Deputies that is elected on the basis of equality between Muslims and Christians shall take the appropriate measures to bring about the abolition of political confessions according to a transitional plan. A National Committee shall be formed, headed by the President of the Republic, it includes, in addition to the President of the Chamber of Deputies and the Prime Minister, leading political, intellectual, and social figures.
But obviously this is also a very distant approach from where we stand today simply because there is no president to preside and the deputies are all involved in the systemic and methodic robbery of the state and its assets.
Having explained the above and based on it, I can’t see any constitutional openings for the public protest, to go through, therefore the only option left for the population and the collectivity is to reinvent its social act together in a founding desire to move forward in the same nation/state although with different institutions, regulations, and a more practical constitutional framework.
To sum up if Tammam Salam can’t revoke as a first batch , the mandate of ministers to name a few, such as Mohammed Machnouk ( incompetent in the waste issue), Arthur Nazarian ( incompetent in the electricity issue) , Rachid Derbas ( arrogant and offensive ), Nohad Machnouk ( incompetent in erecting a wall of shame), Gebran Bassil ( a protégé of the elite which rendered only havoc and divisions), Ali Hassan Khalil ( a menacing guy ,incompetent in ensuring solutions for public salaries), Wael Abou Faour ( a comedian who transformed health into a bazaar), Hussein hajj Hassan ( who failed to set a standard for industrial waste recycling to benefit Lebanese industries and labor market), Ramzi Jreij ( lunga manus of the militias in embezzling the waste money).
And nominate as their replacement Nadine Moussa ( civil society), Raymond Fadel ( Directorate of Intelligence), Abbas Ibrahim ( general security directorate) and proceed with a cabinet of four that will exit the state from the emergency, then his role is useless and his resignation is the sole option to start the Lebanese transition.
My recommendation to the public protest for Saturday henceforth is to create a unified command, and to ask for a unified demand, the resignation of the PM. The phase that will follow might have a certain risk of vacuum, but it is a calculated risk, as the population firm stand to create a new state foundation, based on a secular social pact will be the anchor of safety.
If it is true that we are surrounded by many regional threats and several internal dire straits, it is also true that postponing our liberation and inner redemption will have a major cost than maintaining and alimenting a mafia in power.
This is not a revolution; it is a rational and encompassing action to reform the Lebanese state from within, and by the people.
A mali estremi, estremi rimedi (extreme diseases require extreme remedies) , and there is a lead in some other countries to show us the way, e.g. http://www.conventionofstates.com/ or http://spn.org/federalism_in_action/
To end I say that the solution is to keep the pressure high and in crescendo and to ask for the resignation of the PM, where the parliament is illegitimate, a founding action will require to elect an interim president that will supervise the emergency and be the symbol of the nation/state unity.
A transitional emergency cabinet will be formed and there will be a need for a new electoral law to be discussed and approved and new parliament to be elected.
Only after a constitutional amendment can the interim president resign and a new president will be elected to direct and co-manage normalcy with the new cabinet and majlis.
“ …..Hardliner and bigotry we fear , To influence some fragile souls , Lured by money they lend ear . Might push our peace in dark hole, Our country dwells in our heart ,Don’t change it by earth’s gold, If we stumble once we’d restart, It’s ours definitely we hold.” http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/lebanon-8/

Thank you


From Cassandra with Love

August 24, 2015

Dear Reader,
Greetings and Good Day,

“There is a power that can be created out of pent-up indignation, courage, and the inspiration of a common cause, and that if enough people put their minds and bodies into that cause, they can win. It is a phenomenon recorded again in the history of popular movements against injustice all over the world.” Howard Zinn

In an effort to generate a sober and objective analysis out of the last week-end events, determined by the failure of the Lebanese politicians to express sane governance and adequate solutions to the citizenry daily life affairs; one can only start with a major salute to the multifaceted and variegated energy of the Lebanese civil society. Principled groups having at heart the desire to move forward the Lebanese Interests find themselves, on daily basis opposed and resisted, by both the regime tail agony and intruders willing to disrupt the protest of “We the People” .

In a run down to understand how we got where we are today , it is pivotal to remember that the Lebanese state is approaching a status of insolvency with a debt ratio to GNP almost at 200 % , a limpid description of incompetence of the entirety of the political class. A status of anarchy with incapacitated and divided Institutions incapable to elect a president and to approve an electoral law from one side, and a Mafiosi association for delinquency expressed by Messrs Berri, Jumblat, Hariri, Gemayel, Mikati, Geagea, Hizballah, Aoun, Franjieh, Arslan, Karameh,etc,,, looking for each and every opportunity to exploit and rampage state assets, the garbage crisis is the latest stinky episode of an infinite saga of poor performance by thieves, thugs, profiteers and gangsters.

After the independence of the Lebanese state, Christian Communities failed the first republic by missing the reforms and abiding by a regional design that imposed on Lebanon its share from the occupation of Palestine by the racist state of Israel. Following this, and after Taef accord, both the Sunni/ Druze and Shiite communities played a significant and primary role in deception of the second republic by amassing immense debt, by projecting corruption and mismanagement. Perhaps the post-Taef best description is indecent duality, a bifurcate bipolar state that reconstructed Beirut (after it illegally possessed it through SOLIDERE) spurring a magnitude of nepotism, clientele, corruption from one side; and a chaotic foreign policy which transformed the liberation of South Lebanon into occupation of various areas of the Syrian theater, in name of a regional bloc of refusal that renders the butcher in Syria (Assad) an insignificant Russo/Iranian puppet.
While regional powers are looking for political and transitional solutions to the Syrian crisis as per the latest UN resolution, and being the international chancelleries absorbed by the Greek tantrum, the Ukrainian delirium, and the nuclear deal with Iran, astute observers are asking where Lebanon will stand in the coming two months.
Lebanon can become a South Sudan and follow a Syrian scenario, or become a Poland and pursue a Solidarność scenario. Having listened to the Lebanese PM speech yesterday, known also personally the organizers of “You Stink” movement and read the position expressed by the Lebanon Eco Movement on the Facebook page of Mr Paul Abi-rached; I tend to consider that positions between the parties are distant, yet these can be narrowed and bridged by a diplomatic and patient work of a third party acting as a go between.
If it is true that we can’t endorse a Lebanese vacuum, it is also true that the State politicians are totally wrong and must be opposed fiercely by all peaceful and democratic means until their replacement by valid alternative and consequential substitutes.
Moving forward from today onward , means to maintain the pace of the peaceful protest in Martyrs Square, and for the civil society including the various movements involved in the protest, to name a third party delegation to start the talks with the failed state leading eventually to a political and encompassing solution homegrown in Beirut.
There is no magic, but there is a human will, and a vision.
The vision of the Third republic is clear and it is expressed by the program of Mrs. Nadine Moussa the candidate for the Lebanese presidency https://www.facebook.com/nadine4leb.

To sum up, it is the secular state that will torn apart the sectarian one.
The fastest all parties will realize that the Lebanese stalemate can’t stand anymore suffering and disruptions, and that the options at hand are either to stir our nation’s future to become more chaotic than ever or to walk the way of rationality and state building based on true reforms.
The intellectual lucidity imposes on all people involved to start an effort of dialogue to reach practical and meaningful solutions for the best interest of Lebanon and the Lebanese citizenry resident and abroad.
For peace and wise planning to prevail, effective action must translate the soul temper.

“My destination is here (where you are), let’s remove all the distances, I want You to separate me from myself, Just throw a glance inside me and tell me, who am I? When the clouds rain someday” A free translation from the song Kabhi Jo Badal Barse – by Shreya Ghoshal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RX0XRi6-RKI

Thank you,