To Remember and Learn
By: Elias Bejjani
October 13/2004

This year, October 13 is upon us as a dignified Lebanon is shaking off the scum of the Syrian Baathist occupation and dusting off the treason of the collaborators – local leaders and groups who claimed to represent the country while betraying it to the hilt.  

With this remembrance, a journey back to the true identity of Lebanon has begun through UN resolution 1559, which has crowned a long and difficult struggle by an elite of free patriots from the Land of the Cedars. Leaders, young men and women, and ordinary citizens alike, they followed the banner of Prime Minister Michel Aoun and his Transitional Government in rejecting Taef, the Agreement of shame and humiliation. In a violent Middle East, they raised the struggle for a free Lebanon to the standards of a civilized, peaceful, and non-violent resistance in spite of the obstacles and difficulties along the way. And here they are today, their hopes and aspirations saluted and raised by the free world through the Security Council, led by  America and France, to lift the yoke of enslavement, and with it the shroud of misinformation, off of a free nation and a sovereign people. 

General Aoun and the pro-sovereignty Lebanese groups, both in Lebanon and in the Diaspora, have succeeded with unparalleled determination, an unwavering faith, and very hard work in turning around the regional and international equation in favor of the recovery by their nation of its sovereignty, freedom of decision, and independence. The agency granted by international and regional powers to the Syrian Baath over Lebanese affairs has now been rescinded. 

The world has changed since the events of September 11 in America and the entry of the Coalition Forces in Iraq, and with it US and European policies, and even Arab policies, have indeed been turned upside. With those changes, the journey has begun to return Lebanon to its people, and return the people of Lebanon to their country, irrespective of what the dummies and puppets installed as rulers and politicians in Baabda, at the Serail, at the Place de L’Etoile, in Ayn-El-Tineh or Qoraytem are saying. And right under the nose of many of the Dhimmis parading themselves in turbans, robes and cloaks, who sold their nation and their people for 30 silvers.  

Fifteen years since the desecration of the People’s Palace by the horde of Baathist gangs, Mafiosi, militias, and other corrupt mercenaries of Tamerlane invaders vintage. Our legitimate rulers were then exiled under the gun, and the soldiers of our valiant army were tortured and butchered in Bsous, Aley, Kahhale, and other bastions of resistance. Our most precious of possessions, our freedom, was raped in broad daylight while the world watched in silence and our neighbors blessed the crimes committed against our free people.  

This remembrance won’t pass without wiping the tears of sorrow and pain for those loved ones who left this world and others who emigrated to its far-flung corners. For a lifetime of hard work wiped out overnight, for the destroyed villages and towns that dot our hills, for the closed factories, for the fields that lay fallow and dry, for our children who lost their innocence, and for all that we had but which was lost. Yet we are a tough and hopeful people, and no matter the sacrifices and the pain, we are today even more determined with our strong faith to redeem our freedom, evict the hordes of Hulaku Khan and Genghis Khan and their local puppets, and bring to justice all those who accepted to be the dirty tools of the conspiracy that has been destroying, humiliating, and tormenting our country since 1976.   

But the lessons of October 13 are many and they are all glorious. The free of our people, civilians and military, ordinary citizens and leaders, all stood tall and strong in turning back the aggression of the barbarians at the gate. They resisted valiantly and courageously, writing with their own blood long epics that will not be soon forgotten by their children and grandchildren and other students of history. They refused to sign on an agreement of surrender and oppression, and spoke up against the shame of capitulation. Today’s events and facts are proving every bit as true after 15 years the clarity of their vision, the probity of their expectations, and the accuracy of their predictions. They made the right decision. 

For our fallen heroes who gave themselves in sacrifice at the altar of Lebanon on October 13, we pray and make the pledge of living with our heads high, so that Lebanon remains the homeland of dignity and pride, the message of truth, the cradle of civility and giving, and the crucible of culture and civilizations. He who has God by his side, whose weapon is the truth, and whose faith is like the rock, shall never be vanquished.

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)