Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Merchant's Militia

Feeling the brunt of the Opposition’s occupation of Downtown the most, the merchants have held a meeting with Siniora to discuss the situation and have asked the government for financial support. According to the Daily Star, the government has met some, but not all of the demands of the merchants. No surprise there since that’s usually how it goes in negotiations. What was striking however, was the following paragraph of this article:

“BCD merchants, however, say they will not wait indefinitely before taking action. A number of owners have finished consulting with attorneys on their compensation lawsuit and have only to complete necessary documentation before filing, said Aishti CEO Tony Salameh, who is leading the band of BCD business owners. Salameh, who gave the most positive reaction to Siniora's speech among the entrepreneurs, said he has already had to talk his colleagues out of a plan to remove the opposition's tents by force.”

So it seems they were already planning to do what the government should have done long time ago. Demonstrations are fine and should be allowed for sure, but blocking off the city center since December 1? That’s a different cup of tea. Even more when you realize the tents are almost empty except for a few guards. On any given day, there are perhaps what, 50 to a 100 people inside the camp. And they’re able to shut down the commercial center of Lebanon.

How easy would it be to set up a Merchant Militia. Recruiting should be a piece of cake. Simply say to everyone: Want your job back? Get rid of the occupiers!

Not that such a thing would ever happen. Not in this country that lives by the golden rule of "no winners and no losers". Mind you, this rule is strictly for politicians only. Normal people lose out every day, unfortunately.