"August 1st: A Lost Anniversary"
 By: General Michel Aoun
 (Translated by: Elias Bejjani)
 31 July 1998
To the great people of Lebanon,
 I have always called you great, and you have always proved to be so. Your concerns and wishes were and still are mine. We endured together and bravely faced all kinds of difficulties and hardships. You have expressed patriotism, national faith and love for peace and democracy through words, drawings, songs, dancing and prayers. Your genuine feelings are astounding, beautiful and extremely civilized.
 You courageously defended the country against assaults. You faced invader's tanks, cannons and all other armaments with faith and no fear. Once again, you proved to the whole world that you deserve life, respect, independence and freedom.
 You were intelligent enough to recognize the devastating components of the imposed status quo seeking to divide you into denominations, tribes and money-slaves. You were successful in freeing yourselves from this status and proudly rose to high national and human levels. You unveiled the ongoing conspiracy against Lebanon and its people.
 On October 13, 1990, foreign military forces invaded our free parts of Lebanon and were able to impose a status of occupation. Your resistance safeguarded Lebanon's rights to sovereignty, freedom, and independence. Resistance and struggle between you and the treacherous forces is still actively going on in a bid to safeguard your patriotic rights.
 We, the great people of Lebanon, by God's will, shall win and have the last word. We are Lebanon's loyal sons and daughters who were raised from its sacred soil. We shall remain in our country, regardless of the hardships, because our rights are just and legitimate. The occupation powers are treacherous aliens, transitional, and their presence in our holy country will come to an end sooner or later once the circumstances that led to their invasion cease to exist.
 It is evident that we must wait patiently for the arrival of the salvation train. It is also more than evident that those of us who decline to prepare for its arrival will miss it when it passes by and shall be left behind. My fellow Lebanese, fight to overcome the obstacles and get ready so you do not miss this train when the time is due.
 All attempts executed by occupation forces in coordination with collaborators and mercenary journalists initially aimed to destroy your morals and significant achievements in national unity and intellectual domains. They aimed to destroy your dreams for change and abort your efforts to reform the imposed, catastrophic status quo.
 They forbade you from practicing all means of free expression, so you can not work or interact with each other intellectually. They imposed silence and isolation because criminals are always scared of voices reminding them of their crimes.
 They tried to make you falsely believe that your courageous rejection of the occupation is a kind of frustration. Some citizens and leaders, due to weak national will and lack of faith, were entrapped to become the first victims of this ongoing psychological war against Lebanon and its people.
 They surrounded you with fake election choices; some of you were ambushed and jailed again in cages of feudalism, tribalism and denominationalism. Some bowed and knelled in front of money and authority due either to greediness or to need. You were trapped into the game of deception, which made it easy for deceivers to lead you.
 The reconstruction facade in Beirut proved to be a deceptive means of stealing real estate from the original owners and kicking them out of their houses and businesses. They mortgaged Lebanon with huge debts ($ 26 billion), well beyond its capabilities to pay back. They lead the economy to destruction and national development on all levels ground to a halt.
 The "Return of the Displaced" deception was a camouflaged means of displacing citizens who remained in Lebanon and did not emmigrate. Funds allocated for the return of the displaced ($ 800 million) were spent haphazardly on those who executed the displacement crime.
 Patriotic Lebanese are detained in Syrian jails under the pretense of maintaining national security (in actuality, to protect the security of the Syrian occupation).
 The election deception was merely a game for illegal control of authority in a disguised manner. Is it possible for a democracy to survive and flourish without the exchanging of authority in accordance to democratic free elections?
 So-called "opposition" from within the regime is a deceptive traitors' game. They disguised opposition roles hoping to substitute in themselves in due time for the collaborators in office once the occupant decides to charge them after being used and abused. In fact, there is no opposition without resistance against occupation forces.
 Dear fellow Lebanese,
 Eight years are more than enough to believe that our warnings and cautions were real. You are living a status quo about which we warned you strongly from its inception. You are living in an occupied country where human rights are humiliated, people's dignities downtrodden, freedoms confiscated and your beloved ones are forced to emmigrate to other countries looking for jobs and safety.
 Life in Lebanon will not be back to its normal cycle before freeing the people's will and the return of political, economic and security autonomy. You have one choice, the choice of the FREE PATRIOTIC CURRENT (FPM). The Current unifies your efforts and puts them on the right course to serve effectively the liberation cause. Do not waste your precious time pursuing false authority in an occupied country deprived of its national independent authority. Competition for official positions is meaningless in the absence of democracy and general freedoms.
 The first of August anniversary has been lost with the loss of sovereignty. Let the event be an occasion for renewing the covenant between the people and army to regain and reclaim this lost sovereignty.