I have seen that The National has emphasised the issue of arms smuggling and illegal trading as if it is a new phenomena in Lebanon (Lebanon's AK-47 index may be pointing to war, February 3). This issue has been going on for the past 30 years in Lebanon. I only see this article as a biased reminder to all the people who are willing to visit Lebanon in the near future not to go. One expects to see numbers from formal sources such as research companies or global statistics institutes. Instead, the title is built on some prices that an arms dealer has given. In other words, an outlaw, who is personalising a social plague in the community, has become a source of information.
Abu Mahdi is taking advantage of Lebanon's situation and is wishing that the country would fall into war and disorder so that he could personally benefit and make money - it's a simple equation. Historically, Lebanon has always been the scapegoat of personal benefits. Therefore, the paper published an article that has hurt Lebanon's reputation and its governmental credibility.Samer, Dubai
I don't think the negative aspects in this article are fair (Speed check for runaway Toyota, February 4). Toyota is now going through the same negative publicity that Dubai and the UAE went through with foreign media. When you are at the top, people will do anything to bring you down. There have been a lot worse things in the automotive world than Toyota's accelerator cable problem or the brakes. I worked at Toyota Motor Corporation Australia for two years. Nothing is more important to TMC worldwide than its customers, brand, reputation and the profit. Toyota did not become the biggest manufacturer by accident, and it did not sacrifice quality for quantity. JP, Dubai
So is it legal or not? (The secretive world of the tattoo artist, February 4). Are there going to be tattoo shops or not? It is always much safer to have it legal and under control than behind the scenes with the risk of health hazards and contamination.Halla Krawi, Dubai
Concerning Watson tells Woods to clean up his act (February 4), The National writes: "Watson, whose conduct on and off the golf course has never been short of exemplary over an extended playing career ..." Now, now, let's not forget certain indiscretions by Mr Watson that led to the ending of his own 26 year marriage. Did Jesus not say: "Let those without sin cast the first stone?"Charles Little, Abu Dhabi
Most of the businesses in the UAE are family-controlled without adequate exposure in managing high volumes of finances (S&P lowers Gulf Finance's rating, February 4). There is also a preference to seek financial assistance on a short-term basis and invest it on long-term projects. Banks, business houses and investors in the UAE lack the finesse in financial structuring of their enterprises, and unfortunately, western finance professionals have been at the helm in most cases, indicating lack of forethought, prudence and sometimes even basic skills of financial management. Wherever genuine talent, experience and knowledge is disregarded, the fruits of success are bound to turn sour. Now just wait - 2010 and thereafter will see many a big business fall.Dr KB Vijayakumar, Dubai
With regards to 'Star of David' kaffiyehs set to create next culture conflict (February 3), I don't think this will take off at al,l to be honest, at least not in the United States.
Israel does not have anywhere near the amount of public support in the US as it did in the previous decades. The majority of people are against Israel, especially the younger generations. This is a lost battle for whoever came up with the idea to deflate the meaning of the kaffiyeh, because the kaffiyeh is, and always will be, a symbol of Arab/Palestinian pride.Name Withheld by Request