Adib S Kawar – Lebanon Strikes: Politicizing Public Demands

David Welch, the US Near East Affairs emissary with Fouad Siniora. Lebanese labor unions called for a strike on May 7th for adjusting the salaries of the public and private sector employees and workers, as salaries and wages had not been adjusted for the last ten years, although the cost of living had more the doubled or tripled since then, especially prices had escalated almost by 100% compared to what they were at a year ago. The rise is mainly due to unprecedented increase in costs of energy sources and the depreciation of the U.S. Dollar compared to the Euro, which equally affected prices, noting that the Lebanese currency is tied with the U.S. dollar.

Just because those calling for the strike are in the opposition camp, the government and its so-called majority camp, took the opportunity to politicize the strike and hit against the opposition and the Lebanese resistance. The cabinet announced a rise of the minimum wage from LL 300,000 to LL 500,000. (U.S. $200 to $333) without announcing the mechanism of this increase for the minimum wage, noting that there are hardly any workers or employees whose wages or salaries are at the official minimum nor any mentioning of the adjustment of other salaries and wages which had been the case in all previous laws of adjustment of salaries.

On the occasion, the coalition of committees and popular unions issued a communiqué condemning the governmental and the majority party’s actions to abort the strike saying:

While the Lebanese are preparing for celebrating the liberation day and resistance on 25/5/2008, and while all Arabs are commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Arabs Nakbah of Palestine caused by the Zionist aggressor, the ruling group issued a number of unprecedented and grave decisions:

1 – These decisions aim at depriving the resistance of its legitimacy and will consider its leaders and fighters and probably its martyrs as outlaws, which is certainly in the service of the Zionist enemy and its American masters and tallies with their logic.

2 – These decisions clearly contradict the essence of the basis on which the present government (considered by the opposition as illegal) gained parliamentary legitimacy, which legitimized the right, presence and role of the Lebanese resistance in liberating the land and defending the Lebanese and Lebanon against the continuous Zionist aggression.

3 – These decisions are a stab in the heart of the Lebanese patriotic accord, and hits the sentiments and feelings a large sector of the Lebanese people and the Arab Nation, which considers the resistance as a child to defend Lebanon and Arab pride.

4 – These decisions are a clear proof of the involvement of the ruling gang in the project of creating internal sedition in Lebanon to give a cover for the failure of the Zionist/American project and its extensions, and an arrangement for an internal sedition, which the Zionist enemy failed to do. They actually work for the fulfilment of the ‘prophecy’ of C. David Welch, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, in which he announced during his last visit to Lebanon of a ‘hot summer’ in Lebanon and the region”.

5 – The decisions are in full contradiction of the head of the ruling gang, Fouad Siniora, at the end of President Lahoud’s presidency on 24/5/2008 that he shall not take decisions that are of basic characteristics before electing a new president of the Republic.

6 – These decisions reflect a clear lack sense of responsibility, because they don’t take into consideration the repercussions and results and their effects on the static patriotic options in relation to internal stability.

7 – These decisions reflect the ruling gang’s total slipping to involve the security and military establishments in the political maneuvers, which is a game that the Lebanese paid a heavy price for in the past.

8 – These decisions go beyond the simplest rules and administrative principles, because they are taken without legal or legislative basis. And they are a result of known political intentions with well known sources.

9 – These decisions increase the fears of a large sector of the Lebanese public of the existence of a Zionist-American plan to internationalize Lebanon starting with internationalization of the airport and other public facilities.

(The so-called majority ruling gang claims that Hezbollah put monitoring cameras around the airport to control the airport).

10 – These decisions start with the airport and its security and remind us that all the wars that were waged against Lebanon started from the airport, since the 28/12/1968 aggression that inaugurated the continuing Zionist war on Lebanon 40 years ago, up to the July 2006 war that started with the bombardment of the airport and its closure for several weeks after the end of the aggression.

The comments about the ruling gang decisions call on those who care for the unity, security and stability of Lebanon to rise up to reject these dangerous decisions, and demand the immediate retreat from their implementation, and not be a starting point for the anti-Lebanon plans.

Some factions of the ruling gang, by direct orders from what they call their American ally, order the sabotaging of resistance efforts for defending Lebanon against Zionist aggressions, which are directly or indirectly in the service of the Zionist enemy, and the ‘American ally’ takes no action which is not for Zionist interest. Certain parties are ‘complaining’ about the special means of communication (special telephone system) of the resistance that is vital for its operations and security.

In the meantime, Condy consoles the same Siniora


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