Prayers without action remain futile.
By: Elias Bejjani
LCCC Media Chairman

From the LCCC we wish our great Lebanese people and their friends in both occupied Lebanon and the Diaspora a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hand in hand with all those who believe in righteousness and the ultimate prevalence of good over evil, we ask Jesus Christ to grant our Lebanese people the graces of faith, perseverance, patience, and the power to endure the hardships inflicted on them by the Syrian occupation and its installed Lebanese regime. Despite all the suffering, our people live on the hope of Lebanon's resurrection and its complete liberation from all foreign armies, traitors and all evil. History always repeats itself, and victory shall inevitably be for those who courageously carry Lebanon's torch of freedom, dignity, and human rights, as has always been for the past 7,000 years.

On December 10, the whole world celebrated the 54th Human Rights Day. Lebanon celebrated the event with pain, sorrow, and anger. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the most comprehensive document embodying the broadest consensus of contemporary civilization on human rights. The U.N. General Assembly adopted this document on Dec. 10, 1948. The late Eleanor Roosevelt called it the "Magna Carta of mankind."

Article 1 of the U.N. Charter proclaims that the role of the world body is to maintain international peace and security and also to promote respect for human rights. We learn (or should learn) from history that respect for human rights and absolute justice is a prerequisite for bringing about and keeping international peace. It is a sad reality that in many parts of the world, and in particular in occupied Lebanon, there exists anything but peace and respect for human rights. What we see currently in occupied Lebanon are pre-set conditions and vicious schemes to end the country as a sovereign and independent entity, to impoverish its people and force them into emigration, and foster the practices of corruption, terrorism, and crime.
The whole world rhetorically continues to cherish the prerogatives of sovereignty. Even though world-wide public support has become more vocal, free countries like the USA, Canada and France still tend to condemn human rights abuses in other countries, especially in Lebanon, only when it suits them, and gloss over equally outrageous abuses when it does not.

Our own efforts, we the Lebanese in the Diaspora, should continue to focus on obtaining wider world-wide awareness for the forced status quo of the occupation on our beloved oppressed Lebanon. We ought to continue exposing through all the media available to us the horrible atrocities committed by Syria and its puppet Lebanese regime against our peaceful people. We must stress the need to ensure that atrocities in violation of human rights do not pass without the necessary sanctions are imposed on Syria and its installed Lebanese regime and are made enforceable through the international judicial process. No crime inflicted on our people should pass without serious judicial consequences against those who commit it, especially the Syrian regime.

For the survival of our 7,000-years old Lebanese civilization, a transparent implementation of all human rights principles, as enshrined in internationally agreed upon documents, is absolutely vital in both letter and spirit. It is beyond doubt that concrete progress is truly possible when lofty rhetoric and even ideals are converted into action. The need for a strong enforcement mechanism in Lebanon for human rights is overwhelming.

Despite the fact that Lebanon is the only country in the world that remains under occupation, we see Western countries appease the Syrian regime, although they are fully aware that this regime is Stalinist in its conduct, does not honor any article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has murdered its own people, harbors terrorism and occupies Lebanon.

The Lebanese wonder why the UN and the free world are marginalizing and ignoring UN Resolution 520 that calls for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from all Lebanon and for the strict respect for Lebanon's sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence under the sole and exclusive authority of the Lebanese government through the Lebanese Army throughout Lebanon. It also calls for respect for the rights of the civilian populations without any discrimination and repudiates all acts of violence against those populations.

The Lebanese people have the right to be free and to live freely in an independent country that hails their history, identity, culture, and distinctiveness. The UN and the Free World have an obligation to implement UN resolution 520 and safeguard Lebanon's sovereignty. Lebanon needs a strong international will for enforcing the implementation of UN resolution 520.  Syria and its Lebanese collaborators should by now understand that the oppression inflicted on the Lebanese people will not deter in any way their peaceful, democratic, and civilized struggle for a free, sovereign, and independent Lebanon. Meanwhile we call upon all Lebanese leaders, dignitaries, clergymen, and organizations in both Lebanon and the Diaspora to take a clear and loud stance against the atrocities inflicted on the Lebanese people. The laizzez-faire attitude and the acquiescence to the status of subjugated "political Dhimmis" can no longer be acceptable.

In the spirit of Christmas, we call on the Lebanese authorities (Government, Parliament & Judiciary) to abide fully by all pertaining laws and regulations, and most importantly the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We urge them to put an immediate end to the barbaric infringements, taking place since 1990, against the basic rights of opposition members, supporters, and leaders. We remind these authorities that by their inhuman conduct they not only portray Lebanon as a Stalinist country, but they also dishonor the country and all the patriotic Lebanese human rights advocates, especially the late Dr. Charles Malek who was Lebanon's ambassador at the founding of the U.N. Dr. Malek played a key role in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for all our people in occupied Lebanon and in the Diaspora. Let us all pray for the salvation of our beloved country. Let us all also keep in mind that prayers without action remain futile.

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