Baathist Syrians are occupiers, Not peace keepers
National Post (Canadian News Paper)
By: Elias Bejjani
February 19/2005

The Lebanese community in Canada, the US, and the world is appalled by our PM, Paul Martin statement that "If the Syrian soldiers are in Lebanon, it is to keep the peace".

In best interpretations, Mr. Martin statement is like saying “Syria is holding a gun to Lebanon’s head but we thank her for not firing”. He seems to be unaware that Syria has been firing that gun for 30 years and the gun quieted only after it totally occupied the land. We the Lebanese have witnessed hundred of thousands of Syrian shells of hatred that fell on our homes and villages and obliterated our lives for the last 30 years. 150,000 martyrs and 200,000 wounded Lebanese fell at the hand of the Syrian Baath Dictatorship and its evil schemes. If this is not genocide, then what is?

Mr. Martin seems to forget the long record of assassinations perpetuated against scores of anti-Syrian Lebanese leaders and citizens. The list includes 2 president-elects; Bashir Gemayel and Renee Mouawad, political party Leaders such as Kamal Jumblat and Dani Shamoun, religious figures such as Mufti Hassan Khaled, journalists such as Salim Lawzi, and recently Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Any 10 years old can make the conclusion. What is the common thread here? All these individuals shared a stand against the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. How is it that only Syria’s opponents are being assassinated and not others?

Mr. Martin’s statement is like excusing Nazi Germany from the Holocaust. Or rewarding Stalin’s occupation of Poland, or acquiescing to China’s savage occupation of the Tibet. It rewards a bloody dictatorship who is in violation of international law (UN resolutions 520, and 1559). It is a shame for the Free, to accept the subjugation of human beings to tyranny. We expect better from Canada’s Prime Minister. His words are very insensitive to the suffering of our people. How does he think the mothers and family of the Lebanese detainees in Syrian Jails should take that statement? The Lebanese around the planet request a retraction and an apology from PM Martin.

The Lebanese Canadian NGO'S will be requesting a meeting with Prime Minister Paul Martin to inform him about the real situation in Lebanon, and to seek his strong support for UN Resolution 1559.

We suggest Mr. Martin reads “Syria’s Black Book in Lebanon” at

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)
E.Mail  LCCC Web Site