Opinion articles

Against infection and war

Against infection and war

A Clinton strategist famously coined the phrase, “it’s the economy, stupid.” His boss was commander-in-chief of the strongest army on the planet. No economy within a truly democratic system can thrive without security guaranteed by an independent army with no political allegiance. This month, Executive looks at what is needed to restructure Lebanon’s increasingly threadbare

Lentil soup

All good clichés have a ring of truth and the current favorite that charts Lebanon’s sudden decline from Ibiza to Gaza is grimly accurate. We have been under Israeli blockade, unable either import or export or even travel abroad. We are helpless and cannot help but be resigned to the fact that Lebanon has been

World War three will not start here

This black cloud has been a long time gathering: since 1996, in fact, when the sponsors of war unveiled their agendas. Until the end of 2005 – after the presidential extension, UN Resolution 1559, the assassination of Rafik Hariri, and finally the Martyrs’ Square demonstrations calling for a sovereign nation – the twin forces of

Now I am mad

There I was, at Orchid beach in Jiyyeh, when I saw our finance minister eating a salad (perhaps to demonstrate that our ministers stay in shape while putting our country to right). He was sitting with the resort’s developer and extolling the glories of the modern Lebanese tourist industry. Where else, the minister asked, could

Georges Frem

George Frem, who passed away in May after a valiant battle with illness, will be remembered as an astute businessman, a pioneering Lebanese industrialist, a philanthropist, and a political idealist. Many have written about the business empire he created, but few have talked about the man behind it. It is very difficult for me to

It hurts

It hurts to see our politicians ignorant of the history and evolution of this great country that they are supposed to lead. It hurts that because of this ignorance we have lost opportunities. It hurts to remember that in 1973, the first oil boom was about to explode just as Lebanon was beginning its slide

Capitalizing on defeat

We business journalists are often invited to dinners and lunches along with many heads of private sector companies. Without fail, we are asked about the outlook for the economy, as if, in our opaque world, the press has its own special-issue, X-ray glasses. The answer is normally a variation on a rather depressing theme: that

Heaven via hell

They say the people know best. It is possibly why we have the concept of democracy. When the extension of the presidential mandate was bullied through parliament and the UN passed Resolution 1559, the word on the street was that things did not look bright for Mr. Hariri. The Syrians will get him, people whispered.

Sovereign Deficit

Once again it appears that Lebanese history is being written with the blood of our fellow journalists. May Chidiac was marked for death not for who she is, but for what she represents: the free spirit that quenches the thirst of those of us who rejoice in the diversity, openness and enlightenment that is present

Agreeing to disagree

Given that, in theory at least, with our new political order we are now in a position to pick our own high-ranking civil servants and also given that the people the new government picks for the top non-security jobs like EDL, the NSSF, Casino du Liban et al, will be scrutinized for their suitability (or

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