Sinbad & The Lost Cure
By: Elias Bejjani

Lebanon's Sinbad is very active these days. It's tourism time. His private jet shuttles him continuously to numerous European, Asian and Arabic countries. He meets and poses for pictures with high ranking officials. Like a Saudi king he surrounds himself with a team of specialists, bodyguards, and journalists. Always, the required media coverage. Why not?   Some speculate he came to office with 3 billion $ ,  his fortune is estimated now at 15 billion !!!
Does he have an actual agenda for Lebanon? We have no clue.

After almost ten years in office Lebanon's non-crowned 'king' has reneged on his promises. These promises are no more than pie-crust promises: easily made, easily broken. The man appears to be searching outside Lebanon for a magic cure. Should he not realize by now that any cure for Lebanon's ailing economic, political and security structure is no mystery?
The cure is not magic. It is a reality within our grasp. It beats within the very heart of Lebanon: its people. Lebanese alone are all that is needed to restore Lebanon.

While we welcome international support through unconditional implementation of resolutions set in place by the United Nations; Lebanon does not want, nor need, foreign interference. We are a sovereign nation that does not deserve to be treated as a Syrian satellite. Neither do we deserve a leader who must do the bidding of a foreign occupation in order to maintain
a modicum of leadership.

Where else, but in Lebanon, must a leader journey to Damascus to have his itinerary approved? Before leaving, he must go to Damascus to have his every move choreographed by his masters. Upon his return, he must go directly to Anjar, the Syrian Army headquarters in Lebanon, to report everything. If he is a good puppet, this 'leader' continues his show for the Lebanese people under a thin facade of legitimacy.

He concludes each trip with noisy and loud promises of a glorious future; promising the Lebanese anything if they will just trust him. This sickening charade reminds us of the behavior of a trained seal, who hopes , if he barks and does his tricks just right, to be rewarded with a dead fish. In a similar fashion, Hariri's Syrian masters reward him well for his allegiance to them. His
facade of leadership may continue. As long as he is a good puppet. But if he is a bad puppet, and dares advocate Lebanon's needs, the facade abruptly shatters. He will be replaced with anyone who is willing to sell his own soul. How ironic and tragic! We must be protected from those who promise to protect us!!!!

How can any leader do this to his people?
Is he bereft of conscience?
How can he cover up the roots of Lebanon's cancer with a Band-Aid of empty promises for a better future?
How can he turn deaf ears upon the cries of a shackled nation?
How long can he give a nod and a wink to the illegal Syrian occupation?
For what? A handout? Self aggrandizement?
How much does it cost one to sell his soul?
In exchange for his efforts to camouflage this cancer, while simultaneously exacerbating the disease until it has completely eradicated everything that is Lebanese.

Mr. Hariri has no desire to admit his culpability in the demise of Lebanon. Placing personal gains over the welfare of the country, he attempts to placate the Lebanese. It is well known that no government can be successful in establishing a healthy economy without a strong political foundation and free decision making process.

Mr. Hariri's efforts, unfortunately will all be for naught if he does not first attack the root of Lebanon's hardships: the Syrian occupation. He can't walk the tightrope anymore. He can't imitate Mr. Walid Beik, who specializes in this field. Mr. Hariri should realize by now that charades simply won't suffice. Lebanon is not a circus. The Lebanese are not naive. They no longer believe him.

The man should quit Lebanon, along with his fellow government members. Let him step aside. It is time for a real Lebanese government. One that exists to serve the people. Lebanon needs a national-transitional government that represents all its people, their hopes, wishes and aspirations. A government in which all 19 Lebanese communities and their political parties are well represented. This government should exist to achieve three objectives only.
Once these have been accomplished, it should resign:
1-Implementation of the UN resolution # 520 through the UN, Arab League, European countries and the USA.
2-Formulation of an electoral law that ensures a better representation of all the Lebanese without persecution or alienation for any community or political party.
3-Facilitation of new legislative and municipal elections under the supervision of international and Arabic neutral bodies and organizations.

Simply put, the Syrian Army belongs in Syria. If the Syrian regime actually plans to liberate and fight, let it do so in its own country. Let it fight for the Golan Heights from its own backyard. Lebanon does not need Syria. It is more than capable with its 75 thousand troops to protect its own security inside the country as well as its borders with Israel and with Syria.

Enough is enough! Twenty-seven years of Syrian occupation should deter any mentally sound person, especially Lebanese, from deluding himself that Syria's military presence in Lebanon is, or was, for strategic reasons. Nobody in Lebanon is stupid enough to believe Syria's desperate and fallacious claim that it exists to defend Lebanon against Israeli attacks. Those few Lebanese who still support Syria's occupation should wake up. Wake up before it is too late. There have been no winners during the last 27 years of the Syrian occupation. Everyone has lost. All Lebanese are big losers.

UN resolution 452 was implemented in May 2000. Israel since then has been out of the internal Lebanese equation. This has permanently terminated any precedent that one occupation exists to keep Lebanon 'safe' from the other. The time has come for the implementation of UN resolution 520, that demands that the Syrian military and paramilitary leave Lebanon unconditionally. Accordingly, Syria should refrain from interfering in Lebanon's internal affairs.

The time is now. Time for the occupiers to quit Lebanon. Time for the Lebanese to reclaim their stolen independence, sovereignty, and freedoms. Time for the Lebanese people to regain control of their own country and most of all, their destiny.

To our Sinbad we say, stop your journeys. Stop your search for a cure outside Lebanon. The cure is in Lebanon itself. Open your eyes wide, abandon your own personal interests and ambitions. Look around.
The cure, Mr. Hariri, lies in your country. Believe in Lebanon. Believe in its people. The cure lies in liberation, freedom, democracy, respect of human rights and full and unconditional implementation of UN resolution 520.

Wake up, Mr. Hariri. You need to focus on your own people. Heal their pain. Stop contributing to it. Base your journeys on what will benefit Lebanon, not upon what will benefit you or the Syrian regime. Cease reporting your every breath to your pseudo-superiors in Anjar. Take back your self-respect.

Stop bending on your knees, and selling out your country and your conscience. Reject occupation and occupiers. If the occupiers want to see you to discuss something that is actually beneficial to Lebanon, invite them to Lebanon. This is a great start. Now they must wait eagerly to see you. This quote may be beneficial to recall from Mark, 8: 36. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul?"

Long Live Free Lebanon
Long Live Lebanon's martyrs