Independence: What is left of it?
By: Elias Bejjani


It is very sad to see many Lebanese both in occupied Lebanon and Diaspora have alienated themselves from Lebanon's holy cause and blindly follow evil leaders. It is even sadder to see some clergymen betraying their own people and their own vows through treacherous conduct. At the same time it is frustrating and disappointing to watch hundreds of Lebanese citizens take part in cajoling celebrations on the confiscated Independence Day. It is a disgrace to our martyrs sacrifices to see some of our community members in Diaspora behave as if their mother country is not occupied, their own people not oppressed nor treated like slaves.

It true that we have lost the war of others that waged against us all through the last 25 years.It is true that we have no more patriotic leaders in occupied Lebanon. But what is also true is that we did not lose our faith and will definitely never lose it. Our people by God's will shall be victorious again and Lebanon will be once more a haven for freedom and peace. Only then we will celebrate the Independence Day anniversary with joy and happiness.

On November 22, 2001 Lebanon celebrates, its "Independence Day" anniversary. On such a day we the Lebanese have been accustomed to sing freedom and sovereignty anthems, reminisce about heroic and glorious stances, and recall accounts of sacrifices and martyrdom.

Until 1990, Lebanon was the only country in the Middle East that enjoyed a democratic system. Alas, no more. It is now the only country in the whole world that is still occupied and its people treated as second class citizens in their own land.

The Lebanese struggled bravely all through their 6000 years of deeply rooted history against invaders, occupiers and conquerors. Thousands willingly sacrificed themselves on Lebanon's altar in defence of freedom, democracy and independence. Those Lebanese who are celebrating the "Independence Day" on November 22 this year have stripped it of all substance. Their celebrations are theatrical and deceptive because they do not represent the Lebanese populous, and the entire country chafes under total occupation. The biggest and most sorely missed absentee from this celebration is the "Independence" itself. Participants are corrupters, collaborators, agents and Mafiosi officials; feigning unification under the fallacious Syrian-Lebanese brotherhood slogan of coordination and cooperation while the true Lebanese can only cringe in horror.

Is this the independence that we earned and lost? Is this the independence for which thousands of patriots sacrificed themselves to make a reality? Now,  our freedom has been stolen from us. To celebrate the "Independence Day", one must first know its meaning. Accordingly we can't pursue independence if we do not know its actual meaning, its true components. We can't sing, dance or organize parades on the "Independence Day" until we comprehend its entire horizons, commit to its obligations and appreciate its gifts.

In our quest for independence we pursue justice, security, general freedom, law, equality, human rights, dignity, integrity and stability. Through independence we work hard to run the affairs of our country without interference from 'custodians', hegemonists or foreign armies. In fact independence is synonymous with freedom. Both are one in essence and substance. They are inseparable; and independence loses its core once it is devoid of freedom. In the same context, freedom can't be separated from responsibility.

Freedom loses its value if not organized and recognized within a clear framework. Also we can't separate responsibility from law. Responsibility loses its spirit if rendered devoid of its restrictions. By the same token we cannot separate law and justice, knowing that law loses its credibility when double standards, favoritism and proportionalism are applied in the course of its implementation. These are the meanings of "Independence" that we honor, cherish, fight, struggle and advocate for with sacrifices. Independence provides us with security, justice and respect.

The Lebanese citizen in occupied Lebanon does not currently live a decent life or enjoy any of the components of independence. People live their lives day by day with fear and uncertainty about the future. All their efforts focus on securing basic life needs: especially food and shelter. They avoid thinking about tomorrow because the puppet regime exposes them to brutal injustice and confiscates their free decision making. It neglects their personal and national interests and infringes on all human rights dragging them into the stone age, and forces them to abandon their land and emigrate.

Meanwhile the Lebanese-Syrian installed officials rule bereft of understanding or respect for the components of independence. They show complete and blind subservience to the Syrian occupier, without conscience integrity. They manifest no respect for human rights, laws or constitution. They are no more than robots, exhibiting deceptive, Mafiosi-like attitudes, that are opportunistic, psychopathic, and tyrannical devoid of any shred of self respect, dignity,  or fear from God.

Lebanese-Syrian appointed officials. "Made in Syria" politicians, dignitaries and clergymen celebrate the "Independence Day" while the Independence has been devoid of all its substance. Independence in the eyes of these mercenary officials is a submissive national decision making process and slavery. This is not what independence means to the Lebanese patriotic people.

 My dear fellow Lebanese: Boycott all such fake celebrations on November 22/2001. Go to your worship temples and pray for your oppressed people and confiscated independence. Those who celebrate the Independence day while the whole country is occupied except through prayers are like a man who puts on his best clothes and attends his wife's wedding to another man.

It is our duty as patriots to keep on the struggle till we reclaim our lost independence.

Long Live Free Lebanon.