Lebanese majority did not invite Assad to enter Lebanon
By: Minister Brigadier-General Issam Abu-Jamra

What exactly does the Syrian President wants us Lebanese to say to him? And how does he want us to respond to him?  Perhaps he wants us to tell him: "You are absolutely right, Mr. President. What was taken by force can only be recovered by force!!!!!"

Yesterday he coupled his exit from Lebanon with the final settlement of the Middle East crisis and a full and complete peace between Israel and the Arabs. Today he declares that he won't stay in Lebanon if the majority of Lebanese consider him a force of occupation of their country.

We say to his Excellency the President: The majority of the Lebanese people did not invite his father to enter Lebanon. Indeed, in his own father's televised words, not even a minority among the Lebanese people asked him in. And before he couples his stay in Lebanon to a rejection by the majority of his presence, we ask him first if the majority of the Syrian people themselves want him to stay at the helm of Syria?

We can assure him that the majority of Lebanese consider his presence in Lebanon an occupation. That they do not publicly and openly declare this is because the occupation prevents them from doing so, and the consensus he is asking for to keep his army in Lebanon will never happen.

We say to him that after a quarter of a century of the Syrian army squatting in Lebanon, and in spite of all the agents and collaborators that the Syrians have surrounded themselves with, all the Lebanese people will soon declare that they consider him an occupier of Lebanon and he won't be able to stay in it one minute longer. And all his tricks, deceptions, pretexts, and maneuvers won't do, for his withdrawal from Lebanon will happen one way or another. And this fake majority that he constructs around himself and his collaborators in the Lebanese government will fade away much like the "majority" that supported President Saddam Hussein both inside and outside Iraq, and indeed in Syria itself.

Our most important question remains for his Eminence Patriarch Sfeir and those of the Lebanese who shouldered him on the Taif Agreement after hearing and reading yesterday President Assad's second statement: Have they now verified that the Taif Agreement was no more than an instrument to legitimize the Syrian occupation of Lebanon? And now, what solution do they have to end this nightmare?

25 May 2003

N.B: Translated from Arabic by: Dr. Joseph Hitti.