Why a peaceful resistance?
By: Elias Bejjani
LCCC Media Chairman


Every now and then, Lebanon's sovereignists and their leaders are challenged with this question: "Why don't you resort to armed means to force Syria out of Lebanon?  Why don't you learn from Hizballah's successful experience in South Lebanon and take this strategy as a lesson and example?"   These questions generally come from Lebanese groups, individuals, politicians and clergymen who are blindly advocating for Syria to remain in Lebanon.  These people are "made in Syria" politically, financially and socially. They are what they are, and where they are, because of the imposed status quo of occupation by Syria and what it did to our beloved country.

The real intentions behind such a question are not authentic, but sarcastic, irritating and instigative.  The same folks continue by saying: "Where were you, when we were fighting Israel in South Lebanon, offering blood and sacrifices"?   The sovereignists are frequently also faced by another question from those who have lost hope and became a burden on the nation's resistance: "There is no hope; mere talk leads nowhere; the conflict is much bigger than our capabilities; let us accept the current status quo; live and let others do the same".  

Those who have lost hope come from all walks of life and from all of Lebanon's 19 different communities.  They share an apparent inclination to avoid confrontation or take any kind of national responsibility.  The sovereignists who have vowed to continue the struggle peacefully for independence, freedom, sovereignty and free-decision making are proclaiming loudly and emphatically: "We invest in solid patriotic stances and convictions derived from knowledge, human rights, faith and hope".  The use of guns is not our option at the present time, although we have proved without a doubt that we can use guns very well when the need arises!  Our brave and fierce fighters have made triumphant history in every armed battle they were engaged in: Souk Al-Gharb, Fiyyadieh, Araya, Kahhale, Zahle, Aswak, Chekka, Beirut...  

Those who ridicule our current peaceful option should take note that we will not hesitate to resort to guns at any time when all other options have been exhausted.  The sovereignists willingly chose non-violent resistance after 1990 based on an accurate and objective evaluation of all available data regarding local, regional and international influences, as well taboos and  special interests.  Sovereignists are well aware of the ongoing regional, international and Israeli sponsorship of the Syrian occupation since 1976.

The presence of the Syrian army in Lebanon did not come as a result of its mighty power or military technology, or because it was victorious against the Lebanese or their army.   Its  presence was and still is governed by an Israeli-Syrian agreement with full American and Arab support.  Accordingly, the Syrian Army withdrawal has to be addressed and approached through the powers that made this decision in 1976 over Lebanon's independence.  Since then, Lebanon's free decision-making process has been marginalized, and so have its independence, freedoms, and democracy.

The non-violent, civilized, resistance strategy derives its strength from the people's faith in themselves and in each other and on the founding pillars of Lebanon.  It is a strategy that fights the enslavement principle and advocates freedom and liberty.   Sovereignists are a role model in combining patriotic conduct and ethical morals through their holy struggle.  Lebanon's university students are these living role models; they have proved through their peaceful struggle that no power on earth can make the Lebanese kneel and accept oppression or occupation.  Resistance is not achieved only through military means, but also through peaceful means that could be more powerful and effective than guns and canons.

Like saints, Lebanon's sovereignists practice what they preach.  They advocate a peaceful, civilized, patriotic resistance.  Their attitudes in approaching their holy cause is based on the principles of the Universal Human Rights Charter that forbids occupation, persecution, intolerance, fanaticism and barbaric conduct such as practiced by the Syrian regime.  They constantly combine their patriotic convictions with righteous performance and attitudes.  Their main objectives are the liberation of occupied Lebanon and to spread faith, perseverance, forgiveness and coexistence amongst the Lebanese people.

Sovereignists solidly believe that Lebanese faith and prayer should be translated into practical loyalty and advocacy of a united, free, sovereign, multi-cultural, democratic Lebanon.

Lebanon, the great nation in its deeply-rooted history, rich culture, and distinct identity.  Lebanon, the message of peace and coexistence as declared by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.

The tragic status quo that has been imposed on Lebanon has divided the Lebanese into four groups:

1- A minority whose faith and dignity are questionable. They have accepted a subservient role and work like slaves to appease the occupier.

2- Those who lost confidence in themselves and in others. They have abandoned their national responsibilities under the false pretext of not being involved in politics. They rationalize their betrayal attitudes through holding Lebanon's political parties and leaders responsible for the current status quo.

3- A group of opportunists advocating the acceptance of the status quo without any sort of resistance. Their declared strategy is the full involvement in the dynamics of the current imposed regime and then endeavor to change it from inside. This policy of camouflaged cowardice has proven to be a complete failure for the last 12 years.

4- The majority of the Lebanese have refused slavery and subservience. They have chosen to say no loudly and courageously to the occupier and to its local puppets. They have vowed to peacefully resist no matter what the sacrifices are. Their weapons are: a solid faith, a perseverance of iron, and unshakable patriotic convictions.

We remind those who allege that words do not lead anywhere that Christianity itself was erected on preaching the word of God.  Jesus, the Son of God, the Word, became a man to save the world!

The Lebanese people have never, throughout their 7,000 years of history, never accepted subjugation to any occupier or foreign power, and will continue to do so.  Let there be no doubt that the fate of the current occupier is not going to be any different from those who were forced to leave Lebanon with humiliation.

We remind those Lebanese in the Diaspora and inside occupied Lebanon who have lost hope and abandoned their country's holy cause of liberation that:

- If the black slaves had accepted the status quo of slavery, they would be still living in chains and shackles.
- If General De Gaulle had accepted the German occupation imposed by Hitler, France would not have been liberated.
- If Nelson Mandela had accepted the status quo of his imprisonment and Apartheid, South Africa would not have became the multi-ethnic and democractic country that it is today.
- If East Timor's unarmed, impoverished, courageous people had accepted the humiliating Indonesian hegemony, their country would have never ever known freedom and dignity.

Sovereignists sanctify multi-culturalism, pluralism, coexistence, freedom and democracy.   They are open to others, accept others as they are, and expect the same in return.   Sovereignists strongly believe in dialogue as a means of solving differences as well as conflicts, and instigate no animosity, but call for forgiveness and peace.

Long Live Free Lebanon!

(Send your comments to the writer on LCCC@10452lccc.com)