The 14th March Flame
is still Burning
By: Elias Bejjani

The liberation torch that was lit by General Michel Aoun and the great people of Lebanon on March 14,1989 is still burning. It shall always glow until occupied Lebanon is entirely liberated.
My dear fellow Lebanese, our country will not be liberated through an outside miracle, or by foreigner’s efforts. You, me and every patriotic citizen who believe in Lebanon’s significant identity, its deep-rooted history and in its holy 10452 Km square area are the actual miracle. By God’s will, our devotion, hard work and sacrifices shall force all the foreign forces to leave our blessed, sacred soil.
Our heroic students on February 26, 1999 showed us the right track when with their own bare hands and great faith were triumphant in liberating the Southern town of Arnoun. They used no violence and did not fire one bullet to reclaim Arnoun. They unveiled the reality of the subservient, helpless and hopeless Lebanese regime and became a role model in patriotism.

My dear fellow Lebanese, always remember that you come from a great country and a great people. Remember that Lebanon’s 6000 years of history and civilization is ours, and shall be for our children after us. Remember that we shall have no peace of mind until our holy soil is liberated with the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Lebanon.

The civil war that was ignited by foreigners against our people and country in 1975 is still waging and more fiercely than before. Its vicious objectives, to destroy our unique common living, pluralism, freedoms and democracy have not been fulfilled yet. This war is still waging, although there are no more actual ground field battles since 1990. The on going war is now taking different forms, all vicious, devastating and fatal. In spite of 24 years that have elapsed since the conspiracy started in 1975, its treacherous acts are still actively unfolding.

Under the brotherly Syrian hegemony, its Lebanese installed puppet regime, and the Israeli occupation, the Lebanese people are treated like slaves in their own country. They are deprived from basic human rights, oppressed, displaced, jailed, forced to emigrate, persecuted and impoverished. Two-thirds of them are below the poverty line as reported by the United Nations, a half million displaced and not allowed to reclaim their own houses and property. Another one million were forced to flee and live in Diaspora, and not given any chance to return. At the same time more than a million and half Syrians have invaded the country illegally and are competing with the Lebanese nationals in every field and on an everyday basis.

General Michel Aoun predicted the current imposed status years before it happened. In his capacity as Prime Minister and Army leader, he tried genuinely to prevent its occurrence, utilizing all available resources. A war of liberation against the Syrian occupier was waged on March 14, 1999. The great people of Lebanon and their courageous army under the leadership of General Aoun, fought bravely and fiercely, but because of regional and international interferences their liberation endeavor was aborted.

Although the Liberation war was not successful on the battlefield to force foreign armies out of the country, it did have extremely positive psychological effects. The people’s understanding of the regional-international conspiracy targeting them and the sovereignty of their country was unmasked. The Syrian-Israeli vicious cooperation was exposed and the American involvement was uncovered. The conspiracy’s final act was executed on October 13, 1990, when the Syrian Army invaded and conquered the last free regions of Free Lebanon with full Israeli support and American blessings. The Syrian army ousted the legitimate government of General Michel Aoun and massacred hundreds of innocent citizens in cold blood. It murdered, mutilated and executed more than 500 Lebanese soldiers after a truce was declared and after General Aoun publicly accepted to end the fight, ordering his troops to stop the resistance.

The Syrians since 1990 occupied all regions of Lebanon except for a small security zone in the south occupied by Israel. Lebanese regimes since then have been Syrian-installed and Syrian-controlled. Lebanon at the present time is a Syrian occupied country by all means, although it has a president, a government, a parliament and an active membership at the UN and Arabic league. But in spite of all these camouflaging decorations, Lebanon has lost entirely its democracy, freedoms, free decision-making, sovereignty, foreign role and independence. Its regime and all its institutions including the presidency are under full Syrian hegemony.

The liberation war that was started on March 14, 1989 is still going on. The flame of its torch shall remain glowing until the whole of Lebanon is successfully liberated and all foreign troops withdrawn. The great people of Lebanon and its army lost a battle on March 14, 1989, but they did not lose the war. The people of Lebanon suffered equally because of the foreigners' struggle in their land and have been forced to pay high prices for making their country a battlefield for others and an arena for regional and international conflicts. It is time now after the conspiracy has been unveiled to be equal in the responsibility for the continuing liberation war. All people of Lebanon ought to equal partners in defending their independence, sovereignty, honor and freedoms.

Lebanon through its 6000 years of deep rooted history was always victorious in defeating and humiliating all invaders and tyrants who deluded themselves that Lebanon could be stolen and its people tamed. They were all forced to leave in shame and degradation and Lebanon remained, and the fate of the current occupiers would not be different. Invaders and their armies can conquer the land of Lebanon, but they shall not ever conquer the Lebanese minds and conscience... free we were born and free we shall die.

Long Live Free Lebanon
Toronto. March 13/1999