SYRIA'S REAL AGENDA
By: Elias Bejjani
The Lebanese Syrian-installed officials are on their toes these days. Their masters the Syrians have assigned them the job of aborting the implementation of the UN 425 Resolution and thereby block any Israeli attempt for withdrawal from South Lebanon. This "mission impossible" according to the "Syrian Director" aims to keep the Israelis in South Lebanon, so the Syrian army can justify its ongoing, devastating hegemony over Lebanon.
For years, Syria and Lebanese puppet officials have been calling on Israel to abide by the UN 425 Resolution and withdraw from South and Western Bekaa Lebanese territories. They blamed Syria for failing to do so and, because of its continued presence, they justified the ongoing guerrilla war in the south and the Syrian occupation of Lebanon.
Israel took them by surprise lately by formally recognizing the UN 425 Resolution for the first time since it was issued in 1978. It declared officially its readiness to withdraw from Lebanon without reaching a peace treaty, provided the government of Beirut deploys its army on the mutual borders, dismantles and disarms Hizbolla and other military guerrilla organizations, and gives reasonable guarantees for the safety and future of the South Lebanese army and residents of the security zone.
The Syrian response was hysterical: they refused the Israeli proposal, threatening openly to re-ignite the internal Lebanese war if forced to leave Lebanon. They forced the Lebanese regime to take extreme stances binding Lebanon's South face to the Syrian Golan Heights, claiming the Israeli offer is not serious and just a trap to separate the Syrian-Lebanese track in the Arab-Israeli negotiation process. They simply asked the Israelis through the Lebanese regime to maintain their occupation of South Lebanon so they can keep their own occupation of the rest of the country. Desperately attempting to justify an illogical stance, the Syrians forced the Lebanese officials to refuse any compromise with regard to the safety and future of the South Lebanese Army in any future agreement, saying Lebanon has no obligation to police the Israeli borders and must not negotiate with Israel under any given condition.
The Lebanese regime, by refusing Israeli's proposal to withdraw, is hindering the liberation of its South and Bekaa occupied territories. The regime officials, by doing so, are committing an act of treason against their own country and people for which they must be charged and put to trial. Aborting the implementation of the UN 425 Resolution has no legal basis, especially in that Israel is not requesting a peace treaty at this time. It is worth mentioning that all Lebanese-Israeli agreements oblige both countries to police their own borders and prevent any military operations or illegal infiltration across their mutual borders. Israel is not asking Lebanon for peace security guarantees or to police its borders as the puppet Lebanese officials falsely alleged. Israel is powerful enough to protect its own security and borders and threaten the whole Middle East if necessary. In fact Lebanon and the rest of the Arab countries, not Israel, should ask for security peace guarantees. The Armistice Agreement, the UN 425 Resolution and all other UN Resolutions especially the April Understanding, oblige Lebanon and Israel to police and guard their own borders.
The April Understanding that was signed and guaranteed by Israel, Syria, Lebanon, USA, and France on April 26/1996 following the "Grapes of Wrath" Israeli military operation against Lebanon, guaranteeing the security of the Israeli borders with Lebanon and prohibiting all guerrilla military operations with all kinds of weapons. Its four clauses follow:
1- Armed groups in Lebanon will not carry out attacks by Katyusha rockets or by any kind of weapons into Israel.
2- Israel and those cooperating with it will not fire any kind of weapon at civilians or civilian targets in Lebanon.
3- Beyond this, the two parties commit to ensuring that under no circumstances will civilians be the target of attack and that civilian populated areas and industrial and electrical installations will not be used as launching grounds for attacks.
4- Without violating this understanding, nothing herein shall preclude any party from exercising the right of self defense.
As this understanding indicates clearly, the Israeli border security is guaranteed by Syria and Lebanon as well as by France and the USA, and not only is security guaranteed but also cross- border guerrilla attacks are prohibited as guaranteed by all countries mentioned, including Syria. These facts expose the real Syrian agenda for Lebanon, a vicious one aimed ultimately at the complete annexation of Lebanon when regional and international conditions become appropriate for such piracy.
Implementation of the UN 425 Resolution alone, despite its importance, is not the complete solution for the Lebanese crisis. The ultimate solution will be through the implementation of the UN 520 Resolution that calls for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Lebanon: Syrians, Israelis and others. Only then will Lebanon once again be a free and stabilizing influence throughout the Middle East.