Editorial articles

From Pax Ottomana to Pax Persica, and everything bloody in between

From Pax Ottomana to Pax Persica, and everything bloody in between

While 2017 began with promises that Lebanon was entering a new era, the year ended with proof that our political culture has not advanced a millimeter in hundreds of years. This land is still ruled through entitlements. Wannabe regional  supreme leaders choose our politicians, and in return, they demand veneration and tribute from appointees. We’re

Enough empty promises

Their crimes must not be forgiven again. For 11 years, Lebanese politicians spent some $130 billion without an audit. To pass the 2017 budget, our lawmakers defied the constitution by promising the audit will come next year instead of now. I’m not holding my breath. Let’s not lie to ourselves: Audits can be manipulated. We

License to steal

The Ottomans taught us too well. In exchange for a minimum level of freedom, the rulers of the Empire empowered (and armed) local leaders and tasked them with collecting taxes. Policy makers and stability maintaining were the domain of the central government in Constantinople. This worked brilliantly for the Empire, but in the case of

Thanks, but no thanks

The long-awaited electoral law is out. And it’s rigged. The law that was supposed to be our hope for a better future was designed to keep our political class in power. Our democracy is in jeopardy, and we must fight back. Our political class is comprised largely of killers and thieves. They destroyed this country

Backstabbing bastards — ROUND 5

The political whisper campaign against Riad Salameh and the gross mishandling of his term renewal by our political class put our monetary and economic stability in jeopardy. Salameh is the last of a post-war cohort that — love them or hate them — were truly faithful to the concept of nation building. Everywhere else, the

The donkey strategy

A scantily clad singer belts out another frivolous song, and not only does her video clip get banned, she has her travel privileges revoked. A university blogger dares to criticize the system only to find himself officially ostracized and harassed. As this is taking place, a former head of Lebanon’s telecommunications company, himself under investigation

Starting afresh

While 2016 was full of surprises, in our own backyard the year’s developments simply helped reconfirm what we already know and once again exposed the extent of our vulnerability and dependence. Our region’s fate is in the hands of superpowers, influenced by any number of special interests except, of course, the best interest of local

It’s time for some serious changes

After two and a half years, Lebanon has a president. We don’t care. For the thirteenth time in our history, our head of state was imposed from outside. We don’t care. Our lawmakers – serving a second term they illegally gave themselves – are jokers, casting ballots for Myriam Klink and Zorba the Greek. We

Making green affordable

Lebanon’s real estate sector is going green, with more than a little help from a powerful friend, Banque du Liban (BDL), the country’s central bank. Since BDL made subsidized loans for energy efficient projects available in 2010, developers have been making use of them, building to various international standards. Building green increases construction costs, which

Time to fight back

It really bothers me when people say things they don’t actually understand. “The economy is dead.” I’ve heard it over and over the past few years. Growth is low, fine, but it’s not completely absent. Let’s remember Economics 101. If a manaoushe shop sells 1,000 manaeesh in September and then sells 1,020 in October, that’s

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