Dr. Walid Phares in a Christmas and New Year Message: Lebanon's Politicians made mistakes but UNSCR 1559 stays
Washington DC, Cedars Revolution News, Mideast Newswire
Dec 20th, 2009
In a message to Lebanese communities inside Lebanon and in the Diaspora, Dr Walid Phares said civil society in Lebanon needs to equip itself with "Strategic Patience" for a while because of the mistakes made by their politicians since the Cedars Revolution. Phares, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington, was one of the architects of the introduction of UNSCR 1559 which called for the withdrawal of the Syrian occupation forces and the disarming of militias, including of Hezbollah.
Phares "Christmas and New Year message" was aired by the Cedars Revolution Radio, an online service managed by the NGO, World Council from Washington. In it he addressed whom he called "the March 14 politicians," Hezbollah and Syria's allies and Lebanon's civil society.

"Lebanon's politicians, particularly those known as the March 14 Coalition who obtained a majority in Parliament during the last legislative elections and had the power to form a cabinet, made tremendous strategic mistakes, and unfortunately they continue to make these mistakes. They were granted a clear mandate by the voters to form a Government, and try to implement the UN relevant resolutions particularly UNSCR 1559.

They told their constituencies that they tried but that the international conditions didn't permit such a move. I disagree with these statements for these politicians didn't take a decision to fight for this goal. They tried to convince civil society that the United States decided over everything and every details and that Washington didn't want to implement UNSCR 1559. Obviously this is not correct for foreign powers cannot and should not impose liberation programs if the oppressed people are not calling for it. These politicians often told their supporters that they haven't seen the F 16s and military forces from America and Europe showing up on Lebanon's shores and in its skies. Please give us a break, world powers and foreign countries aren't fighting this if you don't want to fight it yourselves."

Phares added that the Lebanese public needs to know what hasn't been conveyed to them. "This narrative by Lebanon's politicians is not accurate. The international society, the United States, France, the moderate Arab countries wanted to help within what is allowed internationally, but they weren't invited to do so. We were in disbelief in 2004 when the Security Council of the United Nations actually voted the resolution 1559. For the first time in 30 years a resolution accusing Syria of occupying Lebanon and asking to disarm militias and Hezbollah was finally voted. And you have some politicians and voices criticizing the United States and the Lebanese pressure groups in America that produced the resolution for not doing enough! Well the Lebanese activists in America and the Diaspora tell them this: Give us this Government for six months and will tell you how to implement the international resolutions."

To these politicians we say, you have committed strategic mistakes and continue to do so. Is it logical that March 14 politicians in Parliament and in Government recognizes Hezbollah as a 'resistance movement?' Is it logical to call it resistance after it invaded Beirut and the mountain? After it has been part of an axis responsible for violence against Lebanon's civil society including politicians, legislators, military officers, students and others. And to these voices who are rushing to the world and to Washington to state that the weapons of Hezbollah are a matter of internal debate among Lebanese.

How can Iranian weapons that are used against Lebanese an internal matter? These politicians must stop making mistake after mistake. The rhetoric of the 1980s and the 1990s doesn't work anymore, the past glories on Youtube aren't going to be enough for an intelligent public opinion. Citizens need results not rhetoric."
The second message was addressed to Hezbollah and the allies of Syria's regime in Lebanon. Phares said: "We see them shuttling between Damascus and Beirut and hear them saying they are going to cancel UNSCR 1559, that this resolution is dead and that they will bury it.

Well I have news for you: Neither the regime in Syria or the Government in Lebanon or even the United States can cancel a resolution from the UN Security Council. A UN Security Council can only be abrogated by the Security Council. So to those lionizing politicians and in charge of the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs we say: why don't you bring the entire ministry to the UN building in New York and try to create the coalition needed to cancel UNSCR 1559. If you can do it, we'll applaud you. Obviously this resolution is here to be implemented and will be implemented whatever the regimes in the region wants otherwise."

The third message was to Lebanon's civil society. Dr Phares said: "we know the times are tough but do not lose hope. This is going to be a long stage before we can all together redress the situation. You should be armed with what I call strategic patience and work hard on helping the friends of Lebanon around the world making sure that all resolutions are implemented as they should have been had politicians not committed all these mistakes. What is needed today in Lebanon is for civil society not to lose hope and to manage selecting the kind of leaders and representatives who can deliver. Unfortunately the elite selected in the past didn't do a good job. We know that there are leaders and activists inside Lebanon's civil society who know what is going on and should be done. All is not lost. But with patience and determination, this phase will be pass and the full liberation of Lebanon will occur, no doubt about it."
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year