Oppressor's Statues will be toppled!!!
By: Elias Bejjani

From An-Nahar of Nov. 30, 2003: "A ceremony was held yesterday in the town of Talbira in Akkar district, at which a memorial statue for the late Syrian President Hafez Al Assad was unveiled. Among the participants were MP Mohammed Yehya, MP Jamal Ismail, Orthodox Church Bishop of Akkar Msgr. Boulous Bandali, Juma Municipalities Union President Mr. Sajeh Atea representing Lebanon's Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Issam Faris, Colonel Nabil Hmeishi representing the Syrian leadership, and Mustafa Chahout, member of the Al Baath Party leadership"

What the Lebanese people actually need is not another statue of a tyrant who brought destruction and bloodshed to their country, but their real liberation from the Syrian occupation and its Lebanese puppet regime. In fact some of the questions that linger unanswered in the minds and hearts of the Lebanese are: till when will they have to endure this kind of fake "brotherly" humiliation? Till when will they have to live under foreign hegemony and be deprived of their basic human rights? And how long before peace prevails in their oppressed country ?

For how long will the Syrian-installed officials, politicians and clergy of Lebanon cling to their shameful betrayal of their country, their status of enslaved Dhimmis, and their cajoling of the brutal dictator of Syria? These thugs have leased their cheap wooden tongues to venerate and glorify the occupier, and have enslaved their blood-stained hands to the worship of the Syrian Baathist regime intelligence apparatus stationed in their headquarters of the Lebanese town of Anjar .

For we wonder what achievements has the late dictator Hafez Assad contributed to Lebanon and its people? And what services has he rendered to the residents of the town of Talbira to justify erecting a memorial statue for him in their town?

Not only is this a perpetuation of the ridiculous and sad life that the Lebanese are forced to experience, but the most bizarre in all of this charade is the conduct of cowardice and duplicity that is shamelessly exhibited with by Lebanese mercenaries in position of authority who commit their crimes under the sponsorship of Damascus and in the face of the Lebanese people. But these mercenaries are deceiving only themselves because they are fully aware of the Stalinist Baath Party's bloody and oppressive history in Syria, as it was in Iraq, and its designs of annexation against Lebanon. With the capture of Saddam Hussein in the most humiliating of manners, those Lebanese mercenaries should know better than erect statues for other dictators who will one day go down in history like Saddam Hussein. They are walking to the slaughterhouse like sheep without even a modicum of decency to their own dignity of human beings and without uttering a murmur of protest.

Since 1976, the Lebanese people have been patiently walking their own Golgotha as inflicted upon them by Syria and the Islamic- Arab terrorism it has spawned. But the actual crucifixion of the Lebanese was executed in 1990 with the completion of the Syrian invasion of their country and the toppling of the legitimate transitional government. The invading Syrian troops, aided by their Lebanese puppets, committed all sorts of massacres against innocent Lebanese civilians, patriotic politicians, devoted clergy and brave soldiers. Since that day, Syria, like Cain, has dragged Lebanon and its people into an era of darkness, poverty and backwardness.

For the last 13 years, tens of Hafez Assad's statues and those of his two sons have been erected in squares and on crossroads of numerous Lebanese towns and cities against the will of their residents. It is apparent that the Syrian regime did not read history or learn from its stories. It seems too that this regime did not fully grasp what has happened to its twin Baathist regime in Iraq after the toppling of Saddam and his regime and the capture of his henchmen. There is no doubt that Syria and its tyrant rulers were taken by surprise and up till now have been unable to cope with new status quo in liberated Iraq. They keep a blind eye to the kind of love the Iraqis have exhibited towards Saddam's thousands of statues, and how these statues were toppled, spitted on and "desecrated" by the Iraqi people beating up the statues with their shoes.

During Saddam's reign and at the height of his might, scared Iraqis used to lay flowers at his statues and chant for his life whenever passing near them. Very few dared to express the slightest expression of anger or disgust, not even with jokes or sarcastic silent smiles while looking at any of Saddam's 2,380 statues. When the tyrant vanished - and now that is he is captured - the Iraqis rushed to knock down the statues and celebrate dragging them with chains and ropes in the streets in front of the world. Like the emotional and angry outpouring of the Iraqi reporters this past Sunday when they saw a haggard and disheveled Saddam coming out of the rat hole in which he was hiding for 9 months, the Iraqi people have emotionally and psychologically toppled the idols that they were forced to worship for so many decades. And there are many other peoples today in the Middle East region who long to do the same with their own dictators and idols.

The Syrian people will not treat the statues of their own oppressors differently from the Iraqis when Judgment Day finally comes to their country, and this day is definitely looming on the horizon. Meanwhile, the Lebanese people, unlike the traitor mercenaries who are erecting statues for the Assads in occupied Lebanon, will in due time certainly show their immense "gratitude" to the Assads and to their statues and replicate the Iraqi model. How could they not show their "gratitude" for thirty years of humiliation, forced emigration, displacement, poverty, assassinations, political executions, exile, oppression and the separation of the Lebanese people from the country they grew up to love beyond their own lives?

One wonders if President Bashar Al-Assad, after witnessing the end of Saddam, has not been envisaging the ultimate fate of his own regime and that of his father's and brother's statues? We also wonder whether those mercenary Lebanese leaders and clergy also realize and contemplate their own fate once Judgment Day comes to their neighborhood. Sooner or later, their fate will not be much better than that of Saddam and his statues. No matter how much is said about the criminal conduct of the traitor mercenaries, there will always be much, much more that will need to be told for the sake of justice and history.

For those who are still blind and deaf to the patriotism and credibility of the Syrian Baathists and their Lebanese clones, and for those who are still deceived with the Syrian Arab illusions of heroism and victories over Zionism and the Zionists, we ask them to read this paragraph that was quoted from Mr. Issam Fares's speech that he delivered through a representative of his during the unveiling of Assad's statue at Talbira:
" The residents of Talbira town wanted to pour their vast generosity into the country's memory and to express the fertility of their dignity. We always knew them as genuine partners in the effort of fostering true nationalism. They were the nucleus of the popular movement that expressed with clarity its loyalty to the path taken by President Emile Lahoud, the path that clearly differentiated between enemy and friend and destroyed the ambitions of Zionism in Lebanon aimed at the solid foundation of Lebanese-Syrian complementarity, which is itself the fortress of resistance to be proud of in these times of scary silence".

God Bless Mr. Issam Fares and his likes of arabized and revolutionary Lebanon's "Taef" rulers. They are indeed the mirror that reflects the feelings and sensibilities of the Lebanese and the depth of their love for General Emile Lahoud and the righteousness of his path of national resistance. This mirror also reflects those rulers' gratitude to sisterly Syria, its two Assads, President Bashar who is currently in power and his late father Hafez, and all their accomplishments of murder, kidnapping, shelling, torture, arbitrary detentions, poverty, humiliation, displacement, exile and mass destruction, during 30 years of services to Lebanon and its people.

The Day of Liberation has drawn near, and on that day there will be no difference between the fate of statues of Assad in the Land of the Cedars and those of Saddam in the Land of the Two Rivers. And the wailing and gnashing of teeth will be the inevitable fate of the live statues presently erected by Syria in in the Lebanese regime of Lahoud, Hariri, Berri, and their followers.

***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)