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Boston,Massachusetts –21 May 2002
Requiem for Ramzi Irani –Syria’s Taef Peace in Lebanon

The vicious and wanton killing of Mr.Ramzi Irani,a 35-year old engineer father of two,and a member of the Lebanese Forces,has the brand signature of Syria’s Intelligence Services who operate in Lebanon under the terms of the Taef Agreement.The Pax Syriana imposed on Lebanon in 1990 was the culmination of the mayhem in which the Syrian regime plunged Lebanon since the early 1970s.The international community,which remains blinded by the lies of cooperation and civilized behavior behind which the Syrian dictatorship has hidden for decades,bears full responsibility for the ongoing crime against the little Mediterranean country called Lebanon.

The Council of Lebanese American Organizations reminds the world and the American people and administration that the War on Terrorism will not bear fruit if the anomaly of the terrorist Syrian occupation of a sovereign Lebanon is allowed to continue.An anomaly doubled by the record of the Syrian regime which,like the Iraqi regime,murdered tens of thousands of its own people,develops weapons of mass destruction,commits daily violations against the most basic of human rights,supports terrorist groups opposed to a peaceful settlement of the festering Middle Eastern problem,yet proudly sits at the United Nations Security Council.

CLAO cannot see but the hands of Syria behind the sudden string of violence that is racking Lebanon.Arrests and harassment of Mr.Carlos Keyrouz and students and dissidents last week.Kidnapping and murder of Mr.Irani.The car bombings and explosions north and south of the country and in downtown Beirut.A united Lebanese opposition to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon,as well as pressures on Syria to comply with the international War on Terrorism,have pushed the Syrian regime to renew its vintage strategy for maintaining its grip on the country:Playing the arsonist-fireman. Start fires,then offer a credulous world community to put them down.

In memory of Mr.Irani and all the Lebanese who continue to die in their country,and in support to all those Lebanese who languish in Syrian jails,the Council prods the conscience of the US State Department,the Bush administration,the European Union,and the United Nations,not to fall once again for Syrian promises of peace-making and cooperation in the War on Terrorism.

Long Live Free LEBANON