Sheikh Bachir's Tribute: Dwarf Leaders & Immense Responsibilities
By: Elias Bejjani

September 14/06

Lebanon's rulers, officials and politicians with their numerous feudal, social, denominational, secular and fundamentalist affiliations - as well as the so-called
resistance have disastrously failed in managing the challenges of the new independence era in the aftermath of Syria's humiliating and forced withdrawal
16 months ago. This mosaic leadership has aborted to a great extent the historic liberation achievements reached by the Cedar's Revolution that was bravely
spearheaded by Lebanon's young men and women.

The political class has proved to be totally inept in the areas of faith, perseverance, devotion, education, intelligence, organization,  national convictions,
approaches, strategies and honesty. Its crippling performance was evident before, during and after the last Hezbollah-Israel devastating war. Bogus masks
fell down while negligence as well as treachery were behind the war that inflicted immense losses in people, money and infrastructure. The terrorist
Hezbollah militant organization planned and instigated it while all leadership were appeasing and cajoling its leadership and not witnessing for the truth.

Why have all these tragedies unfolded? Why is all this political corruption happening? How can the political establishment's negligence, poor insight, cowardice and questionable stances pass without any kind of legal and moral accountability? The answer simply lies in the feudal, tribal and individualistic mentality that controls people's minds and dictates their behavior and acts. But most importantly because of the people's subservience, ignorance, and blind loyalty to leaders and politicians who bring ruin to their interests and mortgage their country without the people speaking up or protesting.

Meanwhile the conscientious and informed Lebanese citizens and the intellectuals who honor national, ethical and moral convictions refrain from supporting
any leader blindly or joining any party without agreeing with its platform. Good citizens are those who have the moral stamina to differentiate between
the fake and the authentic, the honest and the evil, the transparent and the treacherous.  They are those who do not cast their vote or give their trust and
support to a politician or party that knows neither freedom nor democracy, and that does not honor the right of expression and the right to difference.

Those of us who believe in the righteousness of Lebanon's national cause and respect the rights of their fellow citizens are not fascinated merely by the
charisma and outside charms of leaders. They reject the logic of passivity and feudal subservience in adopting loyalty or opposition. They possess a clear
criterion for what is right and what is wrong  and will never, ever accept the role of ignorant, misled and blind followers.

Those of us who keep themselves informed and well updated on unfolding events in the domains of politics, social affairs, human rights, democracy,
corruption, lust for power, and the media's misleading bickering, are currently definitely feeling frustrated, angry and unhappy about the way things are
being handled in Lebanon. 

In Lebanon at the present time, based on stances and achievements, there are no differences between the opposition or the loyalists. All are cut from the same cloth: Opportunists, greedy, heartless, and serving their own individual agendas and ambitions. They manipulate the people, camouflage their stances, color their attitudes and tailor their affiliations to fit their hunger for authority, money and gains.

All what we hear from both loyalists and opposition is a below-the-belt rhetoric, an ongoing game of humiliating media accusations, insults, threats and
fabricated games and shows aiming to deflect people's attention and focus away from the disastrous social, living, health environmental, security, justice and
economic circumstances.

Meanwhile, the country's borders with Syria are not patrolled by the Lebanese Army. They are left unattended and open for smuggling of weapons,
merchandise and people. The armed militias, of which is Hezbollah, run freely their mini-states and cantons while spreading the education of Jihadism, rejections of others, fundamentalism, oppressing freedoms and manipulating people's fate and destiny.

In the same context, all public services are deteriorating with a scary escalation in unemployment rates, out of control public debt and deficit, deep
rooted corruption, explicit bribery and covert nepotism. More than a quarter of a million Lebanese citizens have left Lebanon over the past two months
during and after the last war in order to settle in other countries. 

The latest traumatic events have uncovered and publicly exposed the actual shocking reality of the Lebanese leadership that has failed in fulfilling its
duties, obligations and responsibilities. They all lost both the trust and the respect of the citizens, while the majority of the public is frustrated,
disappointed, angry and sees no light at the end of the tunnel. A feeling that has led to a massive exodus, especially among Christians whose leaders
unfortunately have forgotten who they are, who are their people, what cause they ought to defend and which interests to safeguard.

The people who fought peacefully and intellectually since 1988 back home and in Diaspora for a free, independent and sovereign Lebanon were not surprised or disappointed by the camouflaged and fishy tactics and strategies used by politicians, parties and the clergy who were shameless servants and puppets for the Syrian Baathist occupation for years. No hopes were invested in any of them due to the plain fact that neither their present nor their future shall be any different from their dirty and blemished past.

What has really been sad, and in fact intolerable, unacceptable, and disappointing by all means and standards is the sudden, unexplainable and bewildering
drifting and derailing of elite Christian politicians and leaders. They have changed their struggle tracks, turned against their own stances, negated their own
principles, trashed each and every slogan they advocated for, broke every promise they made, turned their backs on all those honest, transparent  and
devoted partners, supporters and colleagues, and with cold emotions dishonored the sacrifices of hundreds of  thousands who trusted them and paid accordingly dear in exile, oppression, detainment, poverty, persecution, prosecution, deprivation etc.

There is no doubt that Sheikh Bachir Gemayel, his father Sheikh Pierre, President Camille Chamoun, and other Christian Lebanese leaders, with thousands and thousands of Lebanese men, women and children who gave their lives for Lebanon's freedom, rights and democracy are turning angrily in their graves while watching elite Christian leaders turning into political dwarfs who sold their country and the Christian cause with thirty pieces of silver.

What these derailed leaders and politicians should never forget under any given circumstances is that public mandates, votes as well as support can be
withdrawn once the people find out they have been betrayed and their trust was misused and abused. People might take some time to comprehend all facts
and realities, but ultimately they will act.

What is reassuring in the midst of this frustration is that the Lebanese people have endured with courage, faith and hope thirty years of a horrific Syrian
Baathist occupation till their country was liberated, but still they know very well that there will be no lasting peace before the disarming and dismantling of
all Lebanese and non Lebanese militias and the spread of the authority of the central Lebanese government over all the territory of Lebanon through its own
legitimate military forces. Accordingly, all leaders are judged on these national requirements

Sheikh Bachir, rest in peace, your dream and the cause whose flame you carried and for which you gave your life are still alive, and all those leaders who betray the hopes and aspirations of the people shall be thrown in the dustbin of history.

*Elias Bejjani
Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC)
Human Rights activist, journalist & political commentator.
Spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)

 LCCC Web Site
CLHRF Website

*The lccc is a Federal umbrella for the following nonprofit municipal, provincial and federal Canadian registered groups:
Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation,  (CLHRF),  Canadian Lebanese Free Patriotic Movement (FPM-Canada), Phoenician Club of Mississauga (PCOM),/Canadian Phoenician Community Services Club (CPCSC),Canadian Lebanese Christian Heritage Club (CLCHC),World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU)-Canadian Chapter.