Fabricated Polls & Deception
By: Elias Bejjani

When the ruler starts living in isolation, detached from his people and from their happiness and sadness, he certainly loses the reason for his status. He becomes a prey of his grandiose delusions, alienates himself from reality and ceases to be the mirror that reflects his people's hopes, aspirations and pains.

Any ruler who does not obtain his legitimacy from the free will of his own people, cannot have any legitimacy at all, no matter how rich, powerful, oppressive or vicious he may be. Meanwhile, the ruler who reigns through the power of occupation becomes a dirty and cheap tool in the hands of the occupier, blindly serving his evil schemes at the expense of his own people and nation.

Lebanon's current president, as well as all the officials, politicians and many of the clergymen that Syria installed since 1990 against the will of our people, have no legitimacy whatsoever. Accordingly, all treaties, accords, legislations, regional and international obligations that were forced on Lebanon since that year are legally null, void, and non-binding to the Lebanese, especially those biased treaties that were imposed by Syria. Since 1990, the people of Lebanon have had no say whatsoever in any act taken by their Syrian-installed officials who have sold themselves and their dignity for thirty Dinars. Those officials have never had any kind of loyalty to the people or to the country, but only to the occupier and his decrees and orders.

To subdue and repress the free will of our people, the Syrian-installed Lebanese regime has resorted lately to a series of fabricated and pre-set public media polls, in a bid to portray General Lahoud as a well-liked and popular official. These polls were ridiculed by the Lebanese and did not achieve their aims of deceiving even the children. Their pre-ordained outcome will remain void of any credibility or value no matter what European or American surveying agencies are paid to conduct and circulate them. In fact, how can one get an honest poll when people dare not say what's on their mind, but rather have to have eyes in their backs to make sure no one is watching or listening?

According to the latest poll that was conducted by the "Taylor Nelson service European-International agency" and published in the Syrian-controlled Lebanese media, between 32.83% and 37.31% of the citizens that were included in the supported General Lahoud's bid for another term in office for the 2004 elections. The survey that polled citizens from all ages, categories and regions had two questions:
1- Who do you support for the president's post in the 2004 elections?
2- Considering that Mr. Nabih Berri is the speaker of the House in 2004, and in case Mr. Hariri remains as Prime Minister, who do you support for the presidential election in 2004?

Answers for the first question, as published: Emile Lahoud 32.83%. Boutros Harb 18.91%. Sleiman Franjieh 13.77%. Nassib Lahoud 10.89%. Jean Obeid 5.60%. No answer 5.48%. Amin Gemayel 4.84%. Michel Edde 3.18%. Khalil Al Hrawi 2.42%. Fares Boueiz 2.12%.

Answers for the second question: Emile Lahoud 37.31%. Boutros Harb 14.79%. Sleiman Franjieh 12.89%. Nassib Lahoud 9.23%. Jean Obied 4.61%. No answer 8.14%. Amin Gemayel 4.34%. Michel Edde 2.44%. Khalil Al Hrawi 2.99%. Fares Boueiz 1.36%. Elias Al Hrawi 1.09%. Samir Geagea 0.27%. Michel Sleiman 0.27%. Ghassan Mukheiber 0.14%. Faris Saied 0.14%.

My God, how modest is General Lahoud! We have to thank him for accepting only 32 & 38 percentage points, while in fact he could have gotten the 99.9% that his masters always manage to obtain in the Syrian Baathist neighborhoods of Syria, and also in the rest of the so-called Arab countries that know no democracy or human rights.

What a mockery! Apparently the isolation, alienation and day-dreaming behind General Lahoud's conduct, that of his entourage and the rest of the "Taef" tribes chiefs have dragged them all into a rock-bottom pit of blindness and intellectual numbness. They have ignored the people's will and stupidly underestimating their intelligence by trying to replicate the dictatorship-style of government inflicted by their masters, the Baathists, on the Syrian people.

How could any one Lebanese who respects himself, honors human rights, advocates tolerance and democracy, and is struggling to reclaim Lebanon's independence, sovereignty and freedom, vote for Lahoud or any other politician of his kind? How could any decent patriotic citizen vote for those who advocate for, and represent, the extreme opposite of his convictions? General Lahoud should know very well that most of his people are longing for their country's salvation and liberation from the Syrian occupation and from his own puppet regime.

It is very clear that those who designed, financed, circulated and fabricated the last poll, and the many previous similar ones, live in Mars, have never been to Lebanon, and know nothing about the nature of the Lebanese people. Alternatively, they are intellectual mercenaries who were hired to give the Baathists' regime and its Lebanese clone a western face-lift.

The Syrian Minister, Buthaina Chaaban, is a typical example of such hired intellectuals. She is working very hard to sell the US administration on the importance of the Baathist intelligence services, and the worship by these Baathists of the American ideals of democracy and freedom!

If General Lahoud and his "Taef" entourage are genuinely interested in knowing the kind of love the Lebanese people hold for them, the General has to stop resorting to fabricated polls by hired mercenaries. He ought to start dealing with the reality on the ground by talking directly to people and attentively listening to their wishes. We suggest he pays a series of visits to the Lebanese University campuses where he can talk to the students. Or better yet, if he can spare some time to listen to the families of the hundreds of innocent citizens detained arbitrarily in Syrian jails without any knowledge on their whereabouts. He also should visit the tens of Stalinist jails and detention centers erected all over Lebanon with the goal of "Syrianizing" our people and taming them. Talking to the prisoners who are victims of Syrian injustice will give him an idea of how much they love him!!

Among other places that needs to include on the visits agenda is South Lebanon where his so-called liberators, the Hizbollah "heroes", have actually liberated the land from the Lebanese people! His excellency must not forget the farmers and the factories that are abandoned or closed because of the Syrian flooding of our markets with Syrian products or those smuggled from their country. He should also check on the hundreds of villages, towns and cities that are virtually empty of their own residents because of the forced and rampant emigration caused by poverty, oppression and the invasion of Lebanon's labor market by 1.5 million illegal Syrian workers.

On his way back to the palace, it would be very helpful if his Excellency seeks a peek at the US, Australian, Canadian and European embassies where thousands of highly educated Lebanese youth are standing in long lines for hours waiting their turn to apply for immigration. The General should ask these youths how much they love him and how much they admire his advocacy for the "temporary, legitimate and essential" Syrian occupation!

A special long visit must be paid to the hundreds of deceived citizens who lost their life savings at "Al Medina Bank". These unfortunate people would love to express their personal gratitude to the General who, with his son in-law the Interior Minister and the rest of the "Taef" entourage, have helped in protecting and honoring the thugs who stole their money !!!

Still, if his excellency is not fully satisfied with the kind of love all these people hold for him and for his Baarthist masters, a tour of the Diaspora countries would be very informative and educational. The 1.5 million emigrants who were forced since 1990 to flee their homeland Lebanon are praying day and night for his excellency and hailing his liberation efforts that liberated Lebanon from its own people!

History teaches us that each and every tyrant and dictator were ultimately made to account for their evil deeds. In this context, the recent toppling of the Iraqi Baathist regime should be a live reminder for the Syrian-appointed Lebanese officials, especially his Excellency President Lahoud.

Mr. President, for heavens' sake, have mercy on us and stop immediately both your crocodile conduct and the artificial smile. Enough forgery of our will and enough underestimation of our intelligence, and most importantly enough polls that have no credibility while their fabricated outcomes are not worth the paper and ink spent on them.

"Those who had shame have passed away" is a popular Lebanese saying that actually portrays the kind of conscience, dignity and self-respect that the majority of Lebanon's current officials, politicians, journalists and many of the clergymen possess.

***Elias Bejjani
*Human Rights activist, journalist & political commentator.
*Spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)
*Media Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC)
E.Mail phoenicia@hotmail.com