Remember Artechtahta & Alexander the Great 
By Elias Bejjani

History teaches us that almost none of the world's greatest nations have ever been defeated by their rivals.  All of them were first weakened and destroyed from within, before their enemies were able to bring them to their knees.  Even medicine teaches us that when the body loses immunity it becomes vulnerable to disease.  Perhaps the best examples of this can be seen in the fall of the Ottoman and Roman empires. 

These historical and medical realities are a good example of what personifies the pathetic situations of some of our people in both occupied Lebanon and in Diaspora.  These people are destroying the Lebanese communities from within, through their shameless collaboration and subservience to the Syrian occupation.

"Everyone who sins is a slave of sin" (John 8-34), and every Lebanese who betrays his people to advocate the Syrian occupation is also a sinner too.  These mercenaries and Pharisees, are void of any kind of dignity or national honor.  Unfortunately they come from all walks of life and from all religious backgrounds and regions.  They have sold themselves to the devil in a bid to increase their riches and solidify their power.  They steal, cheat, embezzle, betray, and change their skin for personal interests, all at the expense of the people and the country.  They ignore Lebanon's deeply rooted history, distinguishable identity and they have no respect for the sacrifices of the many thousands of Lebanese who offered themselves on the nation's altar to enable us to be proud, prosperous and independent. 

These antagonists are thirsty for power and blood; They sold their souls and honor for thirty pieces of silver.  They have no respect for Lebanon's 7000 years of civilization, culture and its glorious history.  They are masters in defeatism, ignorance, cowardice and  faithlessness.  Their wicked camouflage, sweet words and lies are well known to all those who are witnesses to the truth.  They have missed the fact that Lebanon's people have never, ever knelt and hung their heads before any tyrant, invader, occupier or conqueror.

All foreign invaders with their armies were forced to leave Lebanon in defeat, humiliation and a fractured dignity.  The only memory of these invaders are the primitive carvings on the "Nahr Al-Kaleb" rocks, near the city of Beirut.  These carvings should foretell to the Syrian occupiers their fate in Lebanon and that they definitely are not going to fair any better than those who like them deluded themselves and falsely believed they can destroy Lebanon and subdue its people.  They have all left while Lebanon and its people still stand as proud and patriotic as they were 7000 years ago!

We remind the Pharisees and Trojans, who apparently suffer of an advanced selective amnesia that the people of Sidon in the year 350 BC, chose to burn themselves and their city after their prolonged heroic resistance failed to safeguard their city against he Persian invader Artechtahta.  They preferred to die with dignity rather than live with humiliation. 

The people of Tyre followed this same pattern in 332 BC.  They resisted Alexander the Great's mighty army for seven months refusing to surrender or kneel.  Alexander, after capturing the city crucified many of the brave Tyrians, while enslaving others in a bid to revenge his huge loss and demeaning humiliation. 

The Maronite Patriarch Gabriel Hgola choose to be burned (1367 AD) in Tripoli in front of the Omari mosque in a bid to save his people from the Mamlouk's humiliation and torture.   The same sacrifice was taken by Patriarch Daniel Al-Amshiti in the same place 1282 for almost the same reasons and for the same cause.

In principle, a man is considered defeated when winning the whole universe, if he lacks the courage needed to witness the truth and defend God's word.  By the same token, the brave man who honors human values and dignity, remains victorious even when imprisoned and chained in shackles.

We remind those who are afraid to takes clear stances in life, change their skin to suit their opportunistic interests, and lack the courage to witness the truth, that by doing so, they are committing the worst mortal crime.  Imam Ali says in this regard:   "He who accepts acts of others is considered their partner.  He who is involved in evil acts commits two sins, that of performing the act and that of its acceptance."

Some of our people in Diaspora have lately failed the test of patriotism.  All of their previous posing, bragging and alleged heroism has proven to be a mere illusion.   They backed off at the first patriotic cross road and apostatized abandoning their comrades to face the evil people alone. 

Dear comrades, strengthen your faith, repent for your cowardice behavior and be witness for the truth.  Do not fall into the trap of individual interests and do not be deceived by the golden garments and illustrious schemes of those who have been assigned to divide our nation and communities, and spread hatred and conflicts among its members.   These so-called shepherds, "God has blinded their eyes and closed their minds, so that their eyes would not see, and their minds would not understand, and they would not turn to me, says God, for me to help them". (John 12-39).

The coward is a blind man in both sight and discretion whose conscience has turned numb.   Shame on our people who live in democratic countries like Canada, where freedom of expression is sacred, yet they are still afraid to be witness for the truth and do not support their Lebanese sacred cause.  Shame on every Lebanese who keeps a blind eye towards their people imprisoned arbitrarily in the Syrian jails.  Shame on every Lebanese who does not support human rights, does not advocate for Lebanon's liberation as His brave students do, does not carry with Lebanon's brave youth the flag of sovereignty, freedom and independence!

Shame on all these Lebanese who are scared to oppose the occupation of their country, so as not to be expelled from the heaven of opportunistic interests and privileges provided by the occupier or in fear of his reprisal.  They have chosen the track of sin rather than that of righteousness. 

These Pharisees are destroying the country which is our holy temple. They should be dealt with in the same way Jesus did over 2000 years ago:
"It was almost time for the Passover festival, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. There in the temple he found men selling cattle, sheep and pigeons, and also the money changers sitting at their tables.  So He made a whip from the cords and drove all the animals out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle; he overturned the tables of the moneychangers and scattered their coins; and he ordered the men who sold the pigeons: Take them out of here, stop making my Fathers House a marketplace.  John 3-13

We call on those who have accepted slavery and to those who are afraid to be witnesses for the truth and feel defeated inside themselves;  We call on those who have deviated from the righteous track, camouflaging, cheating and betraying Lebanon; We call on them to wake up and start thoroughly reviewing their dangerous acts!  Forgiveness is always there and Lebanon's open loving arms will embrace them once they repent.

"If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples, you know the truth, and the truth will set you free". (John 8-13)

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)