Thus, the Lebanese Option Party (LOP) not only has to criticize what we all know, but it also has to come up with schemes and practical, scientific programs in order to solve the essential problems from which society suffers, and improve the life of the citizens and tend to their vital needs.
However, if a political party stops at criticizing the facts without expressing to the public opinion its vision and its detailed plan to make reality evolve, this means that this party is not qualified to lead the society towards a better future.
Therefore, a political party should present its vision and its serious, comprehensive political thought to the public opinion.
It is worth noting that all developed countries worldwide have achieved development because, at some point in their histories, they brought qualitative leaders and parties to power.
This is how the leaderships and the parties succeeded in translating their vision and thought into hard work, for the sake of creating a sound basis and the required climate to improve and develop society, through exploiting the capacities of their peoples and motivating them to be creative. A perfect example is a comparison between South Korea and North Korea.
In the mid 1950’s, the Korean people got divided into two States: South Korea and North Korea.
In South Korea, a regime with a civilized and modern vision came to power. With time, this allowed the country to become what it is today: a democratic State and an economic, industrial and scientific power.
As for the North Korean regime, it was corrupt and rigid. It turned the country into one of the poorest in the world, with hunger striking a large number of its population.
The LOP divides political thought into two categories:
Local policy includes social and economic development, i.e. solving the problems of poverty, unemployment, health care and corruption. The LOP’s perspective revolves around the following constants:
1- The freedom of opinion and expression
2- A free-market economy with transparent competition
3- The confrontation of all despotic movements, especially “Islamized” movements
4- The necessity of free medical care and the development of public education
5- Fighting corruption through the election of a new political class, men and women that are true statesmen.
1- Freedom of opinion and expression:
Freedom of opinion is the soul of democracy, and the prerequisite for its existence.
Every person has the right to the freedom of opinion and expression. This freedom can only be achieved in a free society through legal protection.
The reason behind the importance of freedom of opinion in modern times is the worldwide expansion of the democratic system. The nature of the latter is based on the principles of “by the people for the people” and freedom of election, which definitely presumes the people’s freedom to express its opinion and thoughts.
In our opinion, freedom of speech is essential to every successful democracy, for it summarizes all meanings of freedom. There is not only one freedom, for all freedoms are similar; thus, violating one is violating them all.
The basis of modern civilization was the sum of freedoms that saved Man from the medieval darkness and ties, which kept people from exercising their freedoms. So science, reason and law prevailed; laws that do not differentiate between the governor and the governed.
The bounds that separated modern society from ancient society were broken. And if it weren’t for freedom of expression, protesting and demonstrating, modern society would have never existed.
Freedom of opinion and expression is part of the Human Rights. It is guaranteed by international norms and conventions – such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights –, by modern Constitutions and by applicable laws in a certain country: the right of opinion and expression, freedom of the press, and other causes that stem out of them such as the freedom of belief, the freedom of establishing parties, the right of assembly and the right of demonstration.
The situation is different in Arab societies; it even differs from a country to another.
On one side, we can find the freedom of expression in most Arab Constitutions, but it is only present in theory. It is overturned by emergency laws, and the censorship and control of the executive power, practiced on the media. The media present in Arab countries is mostly state media, an expression of the private interests of regimes and powerful groups. The forbidden freedom of speech is violated by arrests, detentions and constriction.
But despite the will of authoritarian Arab regimes, some freedoms of speech managed to leak to the public, through online journalism and satellite media. However, censorship found a way to oppress them too through website blocking or by shutting down satellite channels.
Traditional religious institutions control the region, be it in the way regimes court them while pretending to be secular, or by the tides of “islamization”.
Either way, freedom of opinion is being muzzled even in countries that have some kind of democracy. Freedom of opinion and expression are forces that go against the tide. They give democracy its meaning on the basis of the right to be different and the right to choose. Democracy-hindering regimes deliberately constrain freedoms of opinion and expression, sometimes even forbidding any form of free and independent expression in some countries.
In conclusion, the forces of darkness tie up humanity. As for freedom, it breaks the shackles that bind our minds, to make way for development and a better life.
2- Free-Market Economy and honest competition:
History has proven the failure of communism, for the latter annihilates private initiative.
Private initiative is the basis of production and economic growth.
Controlling society is not the answer, nay it is the problem itself. If everyone had the same salary, they would not be motivated to work better. If the employee is not entitled to a promotion or a pay raise, and at the same he or she does not risk getting fired, then why work more seriously???
However, in a free-market economy, the two main factors that insure creativity and a bigger production in all sectors are personal initiative and the policy of reward and punishment in work.
But because an ultimate free-market economy can sometimes lead to monopoly and thus dishonest competition, the theory of a guided free-market economy boomed, making it the most widespread economic model, for it was successful in many countries.
A guided free-market economy means the intervention of the State in order to insure a just and honest competition and to provide social services, thus providing the adequate conditions to decrease inflation, lower unemployment rates and set standards for working conditions.
An honest, transparent competition is the cornerstone of economic growth and social justice. It not only creates a balance in offer and demand, but also creates a consensual balance among the interest of customers, producers and that of society.
A bigger productivity means a bigger economical growth, and consequently, new job opportunities.
But the main factor in investing in an economy remains stability.
For in any country, investment rates are not satisfactory if this country’s security is not under control.
And because security in Lebanon is not under control, investments are not in any way flooding to it the way they should.
Lebanon’s security is not the way it should be, because the decision of war and peace is not in the hands of the Lebanese government.
3- The confrontation of all despotic movements, especially “Islamized” movements:
The word in our society is that the entire world is conspiring against us. This is not true.
The truth is that we are conspiring against ourselves, by our disrespect, our unserious work and the fact that we are not aware of – and do not understand the way to deal with – the modern world in this twenty first century.
Surely, all the countries in the world exchange with us based on their interests. Therefore, they exploit our weakness if it comes in their benefit. But the first and last conspirers against us remain our own regimes and political parties, which suppress the capacities of our people and prevent us from rising and evolving. They use many slogans and excuses, mainly:
- Exploiting Islam and deviating it far away from its essence
- Pretending that oppression and despotism are a must to confront the Zionist-imperialist conspiracy.
I will not dwell on the part about Islam; I will leave it to the specialized honorable Sheikh to dive into that issue. But what is certain, is that these groups that pretend to preserve Islam are in fact complete strangers to the essence of Islam. Thus the LOP’s term, “Islamized movement”.
As for the craze of parties and regimes that pretend that all what is wrong with our society is a result of the “Zionist-imperialist conspiracy”, it is merely an excuse that these parties and regimes hide behind so that they do not face the truth: they are failed entities who are unable in the world of today to develop their societies.
The truth is also that if we had an effective government, no one could influence us or keep us from evolving and moving forward, no matter how powerful is the State that wants to negatively affect us.
China is the perfect example for that.
In fact, in the 1950’s, China was a poor State with many big problems. So much, that millions of its people were dying of starvation.
But in the 1990’s, a new government came to power. It ruled with a scientific, developed and long-term vision, which helped China overcome its problems and gradually achieve development.
Today, China is a powerful State. Its economy, industry, science and power are present worldwide.
It is the only State that will compete with the United States of America (USA) in all fields, at the end of this century.
The USA will not be able to do anything to change that fact.
In conclusion, a civilized confrontation is necessary to weaken all despotic and “Islamized” movements, in order for our people to access modernity.
4- The necessity of free medical care and the development of public education:
Developed countries were able to achieve development by relying on the capacities of their peoples. They are the most important asset, especially the new generations.
In order for all social classes – and not only the lucky, rich ones – to be able to produce and create, the government must provide every citizen with two essential piers, namely:
- Free hospitalization and health-care
- A very high level of free public education
That way, the government would have provided all its youth, from all social classes, with a real chance – if they want to take it – for success in life.
If public schools and universities were not at least at the same level as their private counterparts, how can these youngsters compete with their colleagues coming from private schools and universities, for important jobs and positions?
From another point of view, if this social class was not reassured regarding hospitalization and health care, how could it plan its future and pursue its education?
So without these two piers, there is no possibility and no real hope, for a large section of our society, to break the “poverty spiral” that has been inherited generation after generation.
All the aforementioned, besides being a humanitarian issue, is a righteous cause that aims at providing all society members with a real chance to succeed in life – it is an economic matter.
In the globalization era, the most important capacity a State can have is that of its people, its capacity to produce and create. The success of this social class, therefore the fact that it broke the “poverty spiral”, will definitely lead to a growth in local production and an increase in the wealth of the Lebanese society in various fields.
5- Fighting corruption through the election of a new political class,men and women that are true statesmen:
Eradicating corruption will only be possible through giving a political class that has high morals and integrity, access to decision-making positions, so that it becomes a leading example in society.
A society is as good as its leaders.
Therefore, we must stress on the fact that reform starts at the top of the pyramid. In any given institution, if the management is corrupt and lazy, the staff will certainly be the same. The employee is a mere reflection of his employer.
But when an honest and transparent management takes over, observes its staff and demands it to commit to the same values, we notice that most of the employees, that were corrupt just a few days ago, will turn into good and honest workers.
So talking about fighting corruption in this political class is a waste of time.
The one and only solution to solve the corruption dilemma is to give power to statesmen that have integrity and transparency.
In the fields of foreign policy, defending our sovereignty, taking back certain Arab rights from Israel and determining our relationship with other States in the world, the LOP’s perspective revolves around the following constants:
1- A real translation of Lebanon’s sovereignty.
2- Developing a new methodology for the conflict with Israel and for getting back our rights.
3- The matching of interests between Israel and the International Community, especially the USA, until 9/11.
4- The meeting (not the matching) of interests between Israel and the USA after 9/11.
5- The meeting of many of our interests with the West’s, especially the USA, after 9/11.
6- The “Islamized” movements are a danger to all societies in the region and a valuable present offered to Israeli Extremism.
1- A real translation of Lebanon’s sovereignty, because Israel needs a pretext:
We must ask ourselves: Why, out of all Arab States, is Lebanon the only one suffering from wars and security problems on its border with Israel?
Why wasn’t there any problem on the Jordanian border, even before the peace agreement?
Why isn’t there any problem on the Syrian border?
Is it because the Israeli fears the Syrian army?
Certainly not. Everybody knows that the Israeli army is much stronger than the Syrian one.
The truth is that Israel always needs a pretext to promote its famous status that it claims in front of the International Community, “As a State that needs to defend itself because it is surrounded by groups that want to destroy it or even burn it, as did the German Nazis during World War II”.
Israel is in constant need to validate this statement, or pretext, which is the basis of the sympathy of the western public opinion. This sympathy then leads to financial, military and political support to Israel.
Thus, Israel needs pretexts to always be able to show the world that it is the victim and that is only practicing self-defense. And the truth is that almost ever since its independence, Lebanon has been the main provider of this pretext.
In fact, the Lebanese government was absent, rather inexistent, for many decades. It never held the decision to wage war or peace like any other country in the world.
A couple of decades ago, it was the military work of the Palestinians on the southern Lebanese borders that gave Israel the perfect pretext.
As for today, the pretext became Hezbollah’s – illegal – arms.
Conclusion, the Lebanese government needs to be the only beholder of arms in the country.
This will deprive Israel of its pretext and will normalize the border with it.
2- Developing a methodology for the conflict with Israel and for getting back our rights:
The LOP confirms that the military conflict with Israel is not the right conflict that will give us our rights back, but on the contrary: if this conflict persists, it will give Israel the needed pretext to declare more wars in the region.
Furthermore, this military conflict is no longer useful, because wars today are not measured as in the past, when they were fought with swords and chariots, i.e. when wars were measured with bravery and sacrifice.
Wars today rely on technology, which in turn relies on the concerned State’s high level of economy and technology.
This means we must build true States, with economic and scientific elements, if we ever want to reach a certain equality with Israel.
And for the State to stand, it should have the exclusivity for arms and for the decision of war and peace.
From another point of view, we should make use of the South African experience. When the Blacks were following the Apartheid’s military methods, they were making themselves a valuable present for it. Because their actions were proof that what the Apartheid regime was saying was true: if the Blacks take power in South Africa they will destroy everything.
But when South African leader Nelson Mandela realized that, he changed his supporters’ behavior and asked them to act in a civilized manner. That is when the international public opinion started taking sides with the black people of South Africa, which made the apartheid eventually concede power to the black population.
In conclusion, in the present era of technology and satellites, the public opinion has a very big influence on the course of things. We should follow the example of South Africa and build societies that respect the Rule of Law and Human Rights, in order to deprive Israel of its pretexts, making the world sympathize with us and our causes.
3- The matching of interests between Israel and the International Community, especially the USA, until 9/11:
When the Israeli – Arab conflict started in 1948, the whole world was starting to be divided into two camps, namely the American camp and the Soviet camp.
At that time, communism was the biggest and most dangerous enemy to Western countries, especially to the USA.
And because Israel was definitely not going to adopt communism and befriend the Soviet Union, as many Arab states did, it became the western society’s spoiled child, especially that of the USA. This unexplained American bias for Israel during that entire era is what led to the way things are today.
So in during the conflict with the Soviet Union, the priority of the West- and especially that of the USA- was to ward off the biggest danger on them, i.e. communism.
But all this changed, of course, after the fall of the Soviet Union. The turning point came after the terrorist attack in New York on September 11, 2001.
These attacks opened the eyes of the west, and completely changed its concepts and priorities and existence, became the inherent danger of the Islamized movement and the regimes behind them.
As of that date, the West understood that the biggest threat to it, to its economy, civilization and
As of that date, western policies changed. Their top priority became to eradicate all Islamized movements.
4- The meeting (not the matching) of interests between Israel and the USA after 9/11:
After the attacks of September 11, 2001, some interests differed between the West and Israel.
In fact, Israeli Extremists want to weaken the Islamized movements, without however eradicating them.
For Israeli Extremists benefit from the existence of these movements.
On one hand, these movements are no real threat to Israel.
And on the other hand, Israeli Extremists see that the existence of these Islamized movements in the region increases the Western sympathy with it; for the existence of these movements validates their claims that they are surrounded by groups that want to eradicate it.
In fact, the West wants to eradicate Islamized movements in order to safeguard its economy and culture.
We, too, know that we must face these Islamized movements, with all civilized means, and make them weaker, for this is the only way to catch up with modern times and the twenty first century.
5- The meeting of many of our interests with the West’s and especially the USA, after 9/11:
We must not be ashamed that our interests meet with the West’s. States operate according to their interests; and these interests change according to the changes on the field.
What was true in the past might not still be true in the present or in the future. We should always read the facts and take lessons from the changes.
Today, the West is serious about establishing modern, democratic States in the region. Not because the West is a Good Santa, but because it realizes that its interest lies in doing so.
In fact, according to the West, the existence of modern and economically developed democracies in the region is the best way to hinder the expansion of Islamized movements.
Therefore, we must bravely invest in these common interests in a way that meets with our future’s interest.
6- The Islamized movements are a danger to all societies in the region and a free present to Israeli Extremists:
The expansion of Islamized movements, today under the banner of “Eliminate Israel”, and the regimes behind them, are in fact the most valuable present that can be given to Israeli Extremists.
These Extremists exploit the presence of such movements and gain the International Community’s sympathy, especially that of the western community, where this sympathy is translated into more political, military and economical support to Israel.
In conclusion, the existence of these Islamized movements is a perfect pretext that the Israeli Extremists use in order not to change the present status quo.