A Country On the Loose
By: Elias Bejjani
LCCC Media Chairman

The rulers-butlers of Lebanon have bragged so much about their Macho security and their quixotic liberation exploits that they have come to believe their own myths and think that they really are in charge. But the bitter reality of daily life in the old country confirms that there it has no security, no rulers, and no liberation. Lebanon is a country on the loose, its security forces at the whims of a foreign will that harbors nothing but evil to the nation and its people, and its rulers no more than butlers who carry out orders but make no decision.

Those who have claims to liberation have set up their own mini-states that replace the State, with their own jails, institutions, military, and judiciary. They indeed have liberated the country of its rightful owners, hijacked the peopleıs sovereign authority, disfigured the nationıs outlook and image, and imposed on it patriotic and ideological standards that they imported from foreign countries.

The butlers in power use their bodies as shields to prevent the sisterly country from withdrawing its army, because they fear the peopleıs wrath when judgement day comes. They have paralyzed the ability of the nation to change and grow economically, socially, and politically by democratic means. They have crushed every class of society, and crowned their achievements by displaying their security muscle according to the saying "The country is held up, but is not together". The assassination attempt by an armed gunman against Judge Fadi Nachar inside the Justice Palace, while the judge was at his bench in his court, shows the charade of this imported security system. By extension, this anomaly is pervasive to every inch of Lebanese territory where the Mafia bosses, the money kings, the fundamentalists, and a horde of foreign armed groups operate with impunity, each inside their own mini-protectorates.

The assassination attempt against Judge Nachar brought back memories of the killing of the four judges in Sidon, also at the bench and during court sessions of June 8, 1999: Hassan Osman, Imad Shihab, Waleed Harmoush, and Issam Abu-Daher. The fear it left behind was not limited to the courts and the personnel who work there, but spread throughout the nation since no peaceful citizen could be safe under such lawlessness. Even the blind could now see that the authorities are impotent and completely out of touch with the peopleıs fears and concerns.

The leading figures of this regime of butlers squat in Baabda, Qoraytem, Ayn El Tineh, the Place de LıÉtoile, and in all the palaces they built themselves over the safety, the dignity, and the livelihood of the Lebanese people. They have squandered the countryıs assets and exploited the judiciary to serve their own interests and legitimize the hegemony of the "sisterly" country Syria. They have destroyed the justice systemıs central image of fairness by converting it into a tool of relative justice and an instrument of vengeance in the hands of the political establishment. And now they are totally impotent at protecting that same justice system, as if to confirm that they and their regime have lost touch with the Lebanese people and their values, aspirations, and concerns.

In the face of this flagrant dereliction in managing the peopleıs affairs, it has become incumbent on the officials of this regime, in particular the spoiled son-in-law of the President the Interior Minister, to show some humility and sensitivity to the people. They should no longer brazenly appear on TV and display their arrogance with statements that the country is secure and safe, thanks to the generosity and help of the sisterly country.

We ask the son-in-law Minister how can the perpetrator enter unnoticed into the Justice Palace armed to the teeth, accompanied by another gunman, then proceed to the court chamber and attack the judge? Isnıt that indicative of dangerous gaps in the security apparatus, and that the lives of people are under constant threat even within the walls of the Justice Palace? Arenıt the Lebanese people entitled to ask where are their security and safety? Where are the security apparatus that cost the treasury more than two-thirds of its budget?

Could it be that the task of this apparatus is solely to repress students and violate the rights of each law-abiding citizen and the leadership who demand a return of sovereignty, freedom, and independence through the implementation of UN Resolution 520?

This regime of butlers could have acted by seizing the killers of the four judges in Sidon and imposing on them the toughest penalties under the law, and so prevented the attack on Judge Nachar. The sad reality is, however, that the cause of this horrible act is the overwhelming weight of the Syrian occupation on Lebanese free decision-making. The occupation forces have always acted to protect criminals and employ them to serve its insidious objectives of destroying the very existence of the Lebanese State. This they have done by dismantling the institutions of the State and falsifying the history of the nation, by denying the distinct identity of Lebanon and sowing discord between its constitutive elements, and by exiling those who refuse to live under the humiliating status quo.

It remains an absolute certainty that there cannot be any economic renaissance under occupation, and the Lebanese people will not feel safe to go about the business of reconstructing the country under the imported security of a "sister" who has prostituted every value of sisterhood.

The people of Lebanon who believe in the inevitability of a return to a free, sovereign, and independent Lebanon, know that the attack against Judge Nachar is an attack on that Lebanon. It is one of a long list of similar attacks on judges, lawyers, and members of the opposition, including the assassination attempt against Salim Gharios, a member of the Council of the Lawyers Bar Association of Beirut, the kidnapping and killing of Ramzi Irani, and the continuous arbitrary arrests against opponents of the Syrian occupation.  The time has come for the people of Lebanon to mobilize their forces and loudly demand the implementation of UN resolution 520 and the end of the Syrian occupation and of the infrastructure it has built itself inside Lebanon.  

(Translated by Joseph Hitti)