"Accept my rule, or else
you are dead, imprisoned or exiled"
By: H. E. Minister/ Maj.Gen/ Issam Abou Jamra
9.8.02

This is how president Hafez Assad governed Syria since the seventies up until he secured for himself and his heirs full control. He implemented the same strategy ever since he stepped in Lebanon in 1969. It became a legacy he left after his death to his heirs who are still applying it to this day. They applied it against every Lebanese who stands against their occupation or opposes their presence or refuses their hegemony over the political decision making in Lebanon.

The Syrians sneaked into Lebanon politically and militarily with the second Palestinian exodus into the country. They took advantage of regional and international upheavals to gradually increase their presence on the Lebanese soil until they fully succeeded, thanks to the Israeli and American consent in 1990. The Syrians ignored UN and Arab league resolutions as well as the many stern calls by local and international media demanding full sovereignty for Lebanon.

They have been using without success all the tricks in the book trying to hide their real intentions: one day it is the national security constraints with the Israeli border, another day it is for common tactical and strategy reasons, sometimes it is to safeguard the national peace. For the last twelve years they kept assuring everyone that their presence on the soil of Lebanon is only temporary.

This is nothing less than Dictatorship; dictatorship imposed on the people and depriving them from the right to self governance, democracy and freedom. We are not talking here about Human Rights , the Syrians have never heard of them. Only the undisputed ruler of Syria governs in Syria and in Lebanon of course.

I will not attempt to review the Syrian military and political interferences in Lebanon's internal affairs between 1969 and 1990 . The subject has been addressed exhaustively by numerous writers and journalists. In all case, History will be addressing them too. I will refrain also from writing about the valiant Syrian victories especially the ones achieved against Israel from Lebanon, through its proxies, in protecting the Syrians along the Lebanese-Istraeli border and especially ensuring for Israel perfect calm and peace on the Golan front. I am not going to delve into the details of what the Syrians did after conquering Baabda and Yarze in 1990 or what they have been doing in Lebanon until 2001. I think the subject has been already covered and addressed in our last year's closed meetings and previous gatherings and interviews.

It is important ,and especially on this occasion of August the 7th , to expose the reality of what is happening inside Lebanon today. The situation is troublesome, sickening and highly dangerous: «you are with us, you thrive, against us? you are an Israeli traitor" therefore you deserve Prison, Cemetery or Exile . Ever since we increased our civilized student activism on the ground and since early 2001 , through vegetables vendors,pittas and newspaper stands, ever since we started our calls to protest, manifest and to single out peacefully the Syrian barricades, the Syrians reacted vehemently either directly or indirectly through their local agents who are serving in the Lebanese security apparatus. Their brutality was directed towards the Lebanese activists in general but specifically towards the Christian ones who stood out against the supposedly « temporary» Syrian presence in Lebanon. This flagrant reaction was multidirectional, openly oppressive and brutal at times. Just as a reminder of their tactics, we have witnessed the followings:

Direct repressive campaigns against the(FPM) Free Patriotic Movement's members and all other freedom lovers represented by the National Liberal Party followers, the Phalangists and the Lebanese Forces (LF)and others.

The Security apparatus harassed the little vegetables' vendors and other bread seekers street stands and confiscated their livelihood , tools and merchandise.

Students peaceful protest marches towards the Syrian barricades were strictly forbidden and an intimidating tactic was pursued by scattering army soldiers in big numbers all over the streets .

Raiding the meeting hall and arresting 250 members of the FPM and the LF with their leaders on the 7th of August 2001

Assaulting brutally hundreds of peaceful students when they attempted a protest sit-in in front of the justice palace . No excuse , either from any responsible in the Government or from any Syrian authority ,was made at the time .

Any member or activist of the FPM who attempted to distribute a pamphlet was running the risk of being arrested or jailed.

The Media was advised not to publish any editorial calling for the outright departure of the Syrian army from Lebanon and not to attack the Syrian cronies and puppets in the Lebanese government.

Diluting the opposition's victory in the Metn elections.

2. Direct repressive campaigns towards the FPM's Christian sympathizers.
Full support for Syria's Christian political cronies and political rewards for their relatives such as Elias Hraoui and his son in-law, Emile Lahoud and his son-in-law,Michel El Murr, Suleiman Frangieh etc. These Christian cronies were expected by Syria to stand against the other nationalistic Christian leaders who kept asking Syria to leave Lebanon. Splitting the Phalangist Party and rewarding the faction which accepted Syria's presence in Lebanon . Splitting the Lebanese Forces(LF) and rewarding the faction which accepted Syria's presence in Lebanon . Splitting the Maronites ,who did not belong to a party , into two factions and rewarding the faction which accepted Syria's presence in Lebanon . Every Maronite or Christian loud voice demanding Syria's departure from Lebanon must be silenced in a way or another . Ramzi Irani's murder remains unsolved to this day The Lebanese broadcasting corporation( LBC) was subjected to a court order for divulging the sectarian motives behind Ahmed Mansour's shooting .He killed in cold blood eight Christian colleagues at UNESCO. The authorities are forgetting their own deliberate and flagrant sectarian instigations on other occasions.

3. Direct repressive campaigns towards the Druze attempting to join their efforts with the FPM
When Walid Jumblatt showed interest in opening a dialogue with the FPM , Syria was quick in showing him the stick and the carrot. He made a 180 degrees turn and he started accusing the FPM of being extremist as if he is the example of moderation. Using the information minister Ghazi Al Aridi to threaten , in a vulgar and "bullying" way , whoever dares to protest against the Syrian presence in Lebanon . He reminded us in a comic way that he is incharge. Using moderate Marwan Hamadeh to calm down the overly excited Walid Jumblatt and the over zealous Aridi. Allowing the Jumblatt clan to profiteer and drag their feet since 12 years in resolving the displaced peoples' return to their homes.
This makes us suspicious and distrustful towards Walid Jumblatt and his surrounding Druze following who give him the right to be slippery and unreliable according to the needs and interests of any particular situation. Jumblatt is a Man who would not hesitate for a moment in turning the dining table on President Lahoud before he digests the food he was offered. He did it often with others just to satisfy a wink or a personal interest. This makes us believe that the co-existence between Christians and Druze would be more reliable under the "Arslan " Druze leadership although this leadership remains weak after the demise of their previous Leader.

4. Direct repressive campaign towards the Muslims who seek Dialogue with Christians
Where shall we start here?- The Muslim Militia lords were definitely the favored element of the Syrian regime. They were rewarded freely through ministerial positions and other influential posts allowing them to suck the Lebanese coffers dry. From the special fund for the south to the special fund for the displaced to the black boxes without forgetting the high commissions and bribes imposed on the big construction projects etc. The latest being the outright blackmail and extortion from the State by Hizbollah in the Ouzai bridge affair. Isn't it strange that these thugs are being protected by their ministerial positions and immunized by their membership to our legislative assembly ? Do they care about their tainted image? They don't give a hoot . The Syrian usurper has been protecting them since 12 years now. Can this go on? Why should the Lebanese people suffer from this outrage? What about the other financial Dinausor Hariri and his financial thugs who committed the biggest Rip-off ever in the history of Lebanon? Do you still blame especially the Christian population after seeing the floundering of the Lebanese State to cry "Foul" ?

Arms were collected from the Christians since 10 years. Muslims and other foreign forces were allowed to arm with no restraint under the excuse of Resistance against Israel. A civilized and peaceful demonstration against the Syrian occupier was countered with an orchestrated demonstration of Muslim fundamentalists brandishing axes knives and sticks. An outrageously sectarian manoeuvre was dictated by the Syrian occupier through Hariri & co to usurp the important Trade agencies from its Christian holders and transfer it to Hariri's Muslim sharks. Hizbollah was not only allowed to derail the government's Ouzai bridge, its TV station Al Manar opened on-air a pathetic war against the Prime Minister who turned back the fire through his own TV station «Future TV» . Syria instigated the Muslim population in general to start a sectarian campaign through speeches in mosques and other Muslim gatherings against the Maronites who convened in Los Angeles and bluntly asked the Syrians to get out of Lebanon.

These Maronites were accused of being Zionists and American agents. What an irony, those same Americans who agreed with Israel in 1990 to reward the Syrians with Lebanon and forced us to go into exile are now considered themselves as Zionist agents. These Americans are no more allies and therefore do not deserve the esteem of the nationalistic Muslims . Throughout all of this we are still waiting to see the Rule of Law being applied.
Where was the minister of information then ?
why none of those was prosecuted?
Where were they then?

Murders committed against innocents by Lebanese Muslims and Foreigners. Murders that still echo fright and despair . Murders that were committed with the others' weapons against the Christian people; They murdered ex-minister Hobeika who joined the Syrians after defecting from the Israelis. His murder remains a mystery; They slaughtered four judges in Sidon; the murderers are still out of reach and the State is still absent They got Jihad Jibril and his murderer is still unknown and the State is still not around; They murdered the three army investigators at the entrance of Ain El Helwi camp. They were content to be delivered the murderer and the remaining murderers are still running under Syrian protection. The murdering in cold blood of eight Christian teachers at the Unesco shows that the murderer Ahmad Mansour was brainwashed indirectly by the Syrian regime as well as by whoever was vocal from his fellow relatives and militiamen . Just like we saw it on LBC and other media channels. What is most scandalous here is the diversion tactics of the authorities who, as usual, disregarded the substance to delve into superfluous details. They have quickly identified the scapegoat whom they crucified and they moved on as if the subject was closed. Can they tell us please what did they decide on Arms collection from simple citizens? or foreign fighters? Where are the reports to this effect from the relevant ministers? Which Minister resigned so far for not seeing his report implemented?

Bottom Line:
In spite of all what was mentioned above , and what is not mentioned here on the Syrian tactics to dissolve the calls from without and from within for Syria to pack its bags and leave Lebanon , the occupiers are endeavoring to legalize their occupation through constitutional laws and other projects in the making ,such as ,changing the electoral laws and transforming the whole Lebanon into one electoral circumscription ref :Nasser Kandil's political document of the Islamic national congress.This document translates the Syrian objectives in Lebanon which we always stood against. Furthermore, Syria has been harassing and intimidating the Free Patriotic members as well as other patriotic political formations who refuse since twelve years to be tamed or to yield to its evil will. In spite of all the pressure that Syria exercised either directly or, indirectly through its proxies in the Lebanese State and their security apparatus, we tell the Syrian occupiers to rest assured that they have failed to apply on the FPM their Stalinist strategy: « With us you thrive, against us you don't belong here» they could not apply this Stalinist strategy on the Lebanese who cherish his freedom and his democracy in his sovereign and independent Lebanon. They failed in stopping the FPM from opening channels of communications with many forces on the ground originating from different religions and beliefs and some of them were before in the Syrian camp. We are proud to state that our first victory remains our steadfast presence inside and outside Lebanon, giving hope ,strength and determination to its people . We are getting stronger by the day. We are determined to show Syria the exit door with the strong will of our people ,through the United Nations ,the international community of Nations and especially the United States Of America. We have a date with the final victory: Lebanon will belong again to the Lebanese . We will all celebrate our return to Lebanon with this great victory.

P.S : The above was translated from its original Arabic text courtesy of Anwar Wazen (LCCC)