"Pseudo-relations between Lebanon and Syria"
By: General Michel Aoun
(Translated by: Elias Bejjani)
24 April 1998

History has rarely witnessed as bizarre a relationship between two countries as the one existing between Lebanon and Syria, a unique relationship is founded upon political hypocrisy and falsification. The events experienced by Lebanon are distorted in the propaganda employed by Syrian officials in order to justify their continuing attempts to devour Lebanon. They insidiously attribute to themselves a positive role in Lebanon while portraying the Lebanese people as somehow responsible for the crimes committed against them. These endeavors are supported by some "made in Syria" politicians" and by some international parties whose interests coincided with the political conspiracy against the existence of Lebanon.

We do not intend to issue accusations or judgments, for these events and facts identify their own perpetrators. We inquire into these events only refresh the memories of those who lived through them in order to stimulate critical attitudes among those who are "re-learning" these events through the Syrian controlled media so that they may perceive the truth. It is impossible for us in this article to enumerate all questions related to what the Syrians have done and are still doing, but a reminder of Syria's positions with regard to Lebanon helps the people of Lebanon comprehend fully the the actual precipitating factors behind the Lebanese crisis.

Syria has banned completely any Palestinian military activities on its territories, while at the same time encouraging such activities in Lebanon. It established a Palestinian militant guerrilla organization known as Sa'iqa which has never conducted a single military operation against Israel, but instead focused its energy on instigating internecine strife among the Palestinians one hand, and between the Lebanese and the Palestinians on the other.

During the early phases of the Palestinian-Lebanese conflict, Syria encouraged Palestinian transgressions in Lebanon in order to justify the entry of its troops into Lebanon by claiming that the Lebanese requested it. It seems that many of us have forgotten what Syrian President Hafez al-Assad himself declared at the University of Damascus on July, 17, 1976. Assad bragged that he ordered his troops to enter Lebanon "without asking any one's permission" to bring a victorious end to the battle that none of the parties involved had been able to conclude. It is clear that Syria has orchestrated and perpetuated the Lebanese war to justify the entry of its own troops. The truth about its role in instigating the war is not a secret, although pro-Syrian media propaganda has been continuously trying to falsify these facts.

We ask all parties who profess love and envy for Lebanon to desist from this farce. Such love suffocates Lebanon by dissimulating the crimes committed against it, and may prove fatal. A crime cannot be forgotten through sweet rhetoric. Compensation for a crime must begin with full admission of that it has happened and full restitution of damages inflicted during the course of its perpetration.

The first step in ameliorating the deep wounds inflicted by Syria is the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, leaving the Lebanese alone to rebuild their own political system, an ideal model for neighboring peoples who aspire to a democratic way of life. We would have preferred to overcome all these events, but the Syrians pushed us to declare all facts because of their persistent efforts to colonize our country.

The latest assault upon our people was a call by Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara for full unity between both frontiers South Lebanon and Golan Heights. Mr. Shara's request is humiliating, degrading, and underestimates our intelligence. The question is: who can accept such an offer when on one hand the Golan Heights enjoy a kind of tranquility that is not available in other parts of Syria, while our South is burning?