"Joining Forces"
By: General Miceh Aoun

(Translated by: Elias Bejjani)
23 January 1998

After seven long years of forced separation, and from a far distance, our reunion (M.T.V interview on January 11) took place through a televised interview. In no time, the viewed images erased the distance and the live voice canceled the absence. Memories from the past instantly became the reality of the present. Arguments and discussions that prevailed publicly seven years ago, were at once revived to become current, dominant public issues.

During the televised reunion, it was necessary to clarify the past and to delineate the events of seven years ago. There was an urgent need to put certain issues and situations on an accurate track in accordance with their origin and aims. It was an urgent necessity to reawaken a sense of ethical peace in Lebanese society after occupation forces and their locally installed officials had strived in vain to create a public sense of hopelessness.

The occupation's aim was, and still is, to abort public rejection of the imposed status quo and prevent any struggle for change. They tried without success to impose public obedience and subservience, an acceptance of the ongoing national decadence.

It was crucial to openly address certain events, incidents, issues, and to perceive them as they are, without deception. It was essential to encourage free public speech with no fear. Free speech combined with purposeful action leads to victory, something the Lebanese people will achieve very soon. Free speech with a genuine public will of resistance is an effective vehicle to help free the country of the current catastrophic situation.

Some might advocate the prioritization of economic and social solutions to help the Lebanese people with their everyday needs. In reality, although it seems vital to utilize all efforts in facing the economical crisis, such noble goals are far from reach without a free national decision-making process, a process that takes into consideration the actual needs and interests of the Lebanese people, and not only those of the regional and international powers presently controlling Lebanon.

In the context of the prevailing, corrupt political atmosphere, all crises, on all levels, are going to worsen simply because the installed puppet officials will continue to use the same methods to oppress the people through the pursuit of the same non- Lebanese objectives.

Accordingly it is in the national interest of all Lebanese, both in Lebanon and in the diaspora, to be open with one another and to join forces. All need to work together to regain the national free will, to depose the installed gang of officials, and re-establish confidence in the country's political system.