Hazards of Day Dreaming
By: Elias Bejjani
April 3/2005

We are putting on notice those Lebanese leaders, politicians, dignitaries, individuals and officials who are deluding themselves that they can sell the skin of the bear before killing him, and cautioning others with the same status who have lost their national focus by allowing themselves to be caught into games of cheap political deals in a bid to secure individual gains and positions. These sickening tactics have previously blinded the eyes and minds of many of our leaders and led Lebanon and its people into disasters of occupation, exile, oppression, poverty and subservience.
In fear of losing the current golden opportunity provided by the whole world to liberate Lebanon from the hostage status, here is an account of numerous facts, occurrences, hard efforts, international and regional changes and events that have put the cause of Lebanon's freedom into international and regional focus, and in foreign political priorities for the United States, Europe and many Middle East countries.
It is true that in the aftermath of ex-PM Rafic Hariri's assassination the Lebanese people took to the streets calling loudly and courageously for the unconditional withdrawal of the Syrian occupation army and removal of the Lebanese Syrian-appointed Lebanese regime of disgrace, subservience and tyranny. The civilized and peaceful public protests and demonstrations have drawn the attention and admiration of the whole world.

What is also true is that the Lebanese people in general and the youth and students in particular have never accepted the imposed occupational status quo and have been for years peacefully struggling to liberate their country not deterred by intimidation, arbitrary arrests, kidnapping and killings. Despite thousands of fabricated judicial cases and countless arbitrary arrests the Lebanese people were and still are persistent and adamant to free their occupied country.

What is different now is that the whole world is hearing their cries and supporting their civilized peaceful "Cedars Revolution".
General Michele Aoun, Lebanon's legitimate PM in exile, has been for the last fifteen years urging the Lebanese peoples' need to solidify their national and patriotic readiness, refuse to accept the imposed occupational status quo, strongly maintain Lebanon's coexistence, tolerance, openness, moral and democratic convictions and, most importantly, not to give up hope for the country's resurrection. The General has envisaged the following triad formula for reclaiming Lebanon:
 1- Ensuring a solid ground for national unity free from all vestiges of sectarianism, denominationalism, nepotism, feudalism and infringements on human rights. The Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), founded and headed by General Aoun in 1989, was very successful due to the support of young people, students and activists who were the cornerstone in this effort during the last fifteen years after the legitimate transitional military government was forced out in 1990 by invading Syrian troops and made-in-Syria Lebanese militias. The youth movement attracted the attention of all the Lebanese because it was and still is an on going civilized, peaceful and national struggle for freedom, independence and sovereignty. The massive public protests that have been taking place in Lebanon in the aftermath of Rafic Hariri's assassination are mostly led by these students.
 2- The emergence of an international will to free occupied Lebanon through an effective and abiding UN Resolution with a clear and detailed implementation process. This will was embodied first by the "Syrian Accountability and Lebanon's Independence Restoration Act" of 2003, and after that through the UN Resolution 1559. This rescuing will has been solidified by a unique straight forward insistence and persistence from all the free world countries to force the Syrian occupational army out Lebanon so the Lebanese can reclaim their country again and enjoy freedom, peace and democracy.
 3- Marriage and coincidence of international and regional interests with that of a free, liberated, sovereign and democratic Lebanon. This marriage has been portrayed clearly in the astonishing efforts of joint American, French and Arab forces in supporting the immediate implementation of the UN Resolution 1559 and, most importantly, in making Lebanon's liberation and independence a pivotal pillar in the world wide war on terrorism, at the same time tying the success of all peace efforts and democratization in the Middle East with a sovereign Lebanon that is fully free from occupation and terrorism.
 General Aoun driven by an educated vision, solid faith and hope, and in full coordination with a team of devoted Lebanese activists in the USA, Europe, Lebanon and other free world countries pursued his vision. Against all odds the determined stubborn Aoun was victorious in making the triad formula appealing and a viable option to the world policy think tanks and decision making legislatures in the USA and Europe. No Lebanese leader had ever before encountered the kind of false accusations and organized defamation from treason to craziness as Aoun did from those wishing to discredit him.
 Because of Aoun's perseverance, faith and self confidence, and as a result of the Lebanese activists' tireless struggle in Lebanon and Diaspora, the triad formula had turned into a curing and miraculous medicine. Lebanon after thirty years of agony, oppression, horrible human rights infringements, hegemony of corrupted Lebanese made in Syria governments and savage Syrian Baathist occupation, is now on its way to liberation and freedom.
No Lebanese should ignore the fact that the same regional and international powers that facilitated Syria's occupation of Lebanon by secret accords between Syria and these powers, are the same powers that are now working aggressively to force the Syrian army out of Lebanon and for full and immediate implementation of UN Resolution 1559. These powers have openly and loudly withdraw the proxy that they had given to Syria to put Lebanon under its custody. This positive regional and international policy shift came in the aftermath of the numerous sweeping changes that followed the 11th of September terrorist attack in the USA and the liberation of both Afghanistan and Iraq. The triad formula served Lebanese interests in making the world powers recognize how vital an independent, free and democratic Lebanon is for Middle East democratization efforts and for the war against terrorism.
Based on the above facts, changes and realities it is a must for the Lebanese opposition to logically and intellectually recognize that they can not pick and chose from the articles of UN Resolution 1559, especial those that govern the disarmament of all militias, eradication of all kinds of terrorism and fanaticism, intolerance and education of hatred.
The opposition can not sleep in two beds at the same time. Their stances ought to be fully transparent, straightforward and unambiguous. They have to be either with or against terrorism in all its forms. How can an independent, sovereign and free Lebanon be reclaimed in the presence of armed militias that are confiscating the state's decision of peace and war, and while some of the country's territories, including its borders with neighboring Israel are not under the sole control of the legitimate Lebanese armed forces? There is no similar precedent in contemporary history for such a bizarre status of dual power and dual authority.
Clear stances does not necessary mean waging a war to disarm the Militias, especially Hizbollah. Definitely wisdom and extreme caution are required in handling this very delicate and difficult challenge. Meanwhile the more the solution is peaceful and consensual among the Lebanese people, the better will be its effects on the whole country.
Lebanon's opposition leadership have an obligation towards the Lebanese people, the constitution and the interests of the powers that came to Lebanon's rescue. They ought to witness for the truth and safeguard Lebanon's national interests; otherwise, Lebanon will lose the golden opportunity currently provided.
 No more opposition cajoling or appeasing approaches towards the armed Militias are acceptable or sellable. Lebanon opposition leadership has to be either with or against a free independent and sovereign country.

Long Live the truth

Elias Bejjani
*Human Rights activist, journalist & political commentator.
*Spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)
*Media Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC)
E.Mail phoenicia@hotmail.com  LCCC Web Site http://www.10452lccc.com