Hang the Maronites, If You Dare !!!
By: Elias Bejjani

If the officials of Beirut had their way, the defiant, rebellious participants of the Fourth Maronite Conference, held in Los Angeles, would be harshly punished. How could they not be? They failed to be obedient puppets.

Bad, bad Maronites. You refused to be marionettes. You frighten the pseudo regime, its politicians and clergymen. You are real enemies, traitors and mercenaries against the Syrian dream of total annexation of Lebanon. You jeopardize the 'unification' of the Syrian-Lebanese track. You shun Syria's self-serving sacrifices. You conspire against the status-quo that masquerades as peace and stability; not only in Lebanon, but in the whole Arab world as well.
You bad freedom fighters! You are also serving Israel's schemes in the region by hindering Syria's 'heroic' war (waged from the Golan Heights) in a bid to cast the Jewish state into the sea!!!

What more can we say that could shed more light on the warped mentality of the Beirut Regime? Syria fears the conference's recommendations as sectarian, treacherous, hostile and indicative of future revolt. And indeed freedom always threatens anachronistic regimes. It is a very credible and tangible threat to snap the regime's stranglehold on Lebanon. Such a conference sets its own standards, rejecting the so-called standards set by the Syrian occupier since 1990. For heaven's sake! How could the Maronites convene such a conference without a pre-set agenda controlled to the tiniest detail by their big sister, Syria !!!! These bad Maronites! Why should they be the exception? Why must they not abide by this requirement? Others have no choice! How could they not thank, on bent knees, big sister, Syria? How dare they challenge Syria's outstanding sacrifices and protection of the Lebanese people !!!

This is like making the statement, 'Lebanon belongs to the Lebanese. What right do they have to it?' This may be the heart of Syria's ideology; but Syria is dreaming. It harbors the misconception that Stalinist and ghoulish tactics have the power to subdue and pacify the Lebanese patriots; turning them into harmless and impotent puppets. Syria deludes itself.

Syria's infringements on human rights, organized oppression, schemes of emigration, displacement, poverty, corruption and injustice have only united our people. Syria's confiscation of freedoms and democracy, perpetration of crimes, forgery of public representation, installation of robot officials, arbitrary arrests, destruction of villages, towns and cities, all has strengthened our peoples' faith and unified our resolve: to free Lebanon. Syria's encouragement of drug trafficking, installment of Syrian made leadership for the majority of the Lebanese parties, killing, exiling and jailing opposition leaders have made our people more adamant than ever to winning the struggle for liberation. What more do these Maronites need to learn the lesson? But apparently they did not.

If we were working for the Stalinist regime, we would accordingly ask the Beirut regime to immediately hang all those that dared and risked and voted in favor of the conference's pro-Lebanon, anti-Syrian recommendations. Would we also not stone the same individuals because they unveiled Syria's agenda and successfully aborted it? They have embraced the courage to expose these agents and crippled their vicious efforts that were initially aimed to counterfeit the Maronites' representation and forge their expectations, wishes and aspirations. It was obvious that the opposition's common understanding, patriotic attitudes, determination spirit and pro- Free Lebanon conference recommendations have frightened Syria and its Lebanese proxies. In response, its top officials ordered their trumpets in Lebanon to condemn and attack the Los Angeles Conference.

Arguments used in the campaign of condemnation were old fashioned, obsolete, void from credibility, vindictive, and totally ridiculous. The Syrian-orchestrated campaign failed. It didn't achieve its objectives. On the contrary, it did show clearly that the majority of the Lebanese are anti-Syrian hegemony.

Throwing false accusations against the Los Angeles conference like treason, fanaticism, etc only reflects poorly on the regime. Such scare tactics will not turn Lebanon into an Arabic country. They will not transform Lebanese into Arabs. Lebanon is Lebanon. The Lebanese are Lebanese, and only Lebanese; but of different sects among which are Arabs, Phoenicians, Armenians, Kurdish, Syrians, Marada, Europeans etc. The puppets that took turns in attacking the Maronite Conference have never recognized the entity of the Lebanese nation; its distinguishable identity, roots, history or Lebanon's internationally recognized borders. They do not understand a simple fact: Lebanon, the 10452 square kilometers, is an ultimate nation for its people. They do not only refuse to call for reclamation of Lebanon's confiscated independence, sovereignty and freedoms; but they have the added audacity to question those who do.

This conference scared Syria. Why? Because the participants rejected Syrian hegemony, by adopting the United States' "Syria Accountability 2002 Act, which insists on the restoration of Lebanon's sovereignty, independence, and freedom. This necessarily means the withdrawal of all Syrian influence; especially troops, from Lebanon. The bill also addresses the USA policy in Lebanon, demanding an end to Syria's 27 years occupation and calling for the implementation of the UN Resolution 520.

Feeling threatened, Syria accordingly implemented its Stalinist tactic "divide and conquer" to create tension among the Lebanese.It is no secret that the USA policy in the Middle East still currently placates the Syrian regime, despite the many atrocities this regime has committed against its own people, and against the Lebanese for the past 30 years. The Maronites, like the rest of the Lebanese are for Lebanon, and only Lebanon. They are not an enemy to the Syrian people. But they are staunchly opposed to Syria's subjugation of Lebanon.

What transpired from the Los Angeles conference did not require the disproportionate Syrian-instigated condemnations that possess neither logic nor credibility. It is an old Syrian tactic for the regime to instruct its Lebanese proxies to accuse any and every patriotic Lebanese group , meeting abroad to address Lebanon's independence and liberation, of serving Israeli anti-Syrian schemes.

But the most pathetic justification used in this condemnation campaign, culminated in arguments alleging that the conference's recommendations have infringed on principles and directives of the Synodal Apostolic Exhortation's "New Hope for Lebanon", issued by the Vatican in 1997. Most of the politicians who resorted to this irrational reasoning were unfortunately Maronites. These people have sold their souls to the devil. They have disgraced their office, abandoned their church, people and Lebanon's holy cause of liberation. We advise these "Judas'" to re- read thoroughly this Papal document. We suggest that they make every effort to understand its contents. If they summon this courage, they will discover how much it condemns their treacherous stances. They will realize how alienated they are from its call to the respect of human rights, tolerance, common living, peace, freedom and democracy.

The Conference's call on the United Nations, the Free World countries and in particular the USA to help Lebanon in reclaiming its confiscated national sovereignty through the implementation of the UN Resolution 520 . It is our right. When Lebanon is not respected as a free and sovereign nation, we will take whatever measures that will ensure our sovereignty. The Maronites made numerous attempts to pursue a Lebanese national dialogue. When this proved unsuccessful, we have embraced a more international solution. We must deal effectively and firmly with this bizarre condemnation by the Syrian regime. We must stand firm against the wedge it aims to drive between the Lebanese. Through the creation of a confrontational, hostile, and divisional milieu, the occupier aims to dissolve the will of the people, by falsely portraying Lebanon's 19 communities as sectarian, fearful of each other and on the verge of engaging in a civil war if Syria were to quit Lebanon.

Such a fallacious scenario creates the misconception that Syria is needed to maintain peace; thus creating a pretense for the occupation to continue. Luckily this vicious scenario will fail to achieve its aims.

Those who attacked the Los Angeles conference have isolated themselves and proved once more that they do not represent the Lebanese aspirations and hopes.Without a milieu of complete freedom, and in a democratic country, the conference would not have been able to successfully address Lebanon's hardships and needs. Sadly such a milieu has not been ensured in occupied Lebanon for the last 13 years. Meanwhile the conference's recommendations were a good start. But such a stepping stone in the long journey of freedom needs a clear path. We must seize this step and continue in the direction of progress; especially with regards to certain national convictions that are vital to keep the torch of liberation lit for the new generations.

No Lebanese leader or clergymen should think he could even attempt to forge Lebanon's distinguishable identity, deeply rooted history, culture, traditions or common living. He has no right! Lebanon's identify is Lebanese, and only Lebanese. It was Lebanese 7000 years ago, it is still so today, and by God's will shall remain Lebanese till Judgment Day. A Lebanese who changes his skin is no longer a Lebanese.

We call on all the Lebanese communities to engage in a free, objective and a  constructive national dialogue. They are capable to reach a new national Accord that frees their country's decision making process, ends the Syrian occupation and addresses the challenges of modernization, globalization and human rights issues.

Lebanon the 10452 square kilometers is for the Lebanese, and only for the Lebanese. Can Syria and its local proxies comprehend this reality? Hopefully they will before tasting the bitter fate of humiliation that hundreds of previous conquerors and tyrants encountered. Syria will learn the hard way that Lebanon is too small to be divided, and too big to be swallowed. The success of the Los Angeles Conference follows the Al-Maten referendum victory. Our struggle for self-determination goes on.

Long Live Free Lebanon