Walid Phares comments on Bashir Gemayel's legacy
"His assassins must be tried"

Washington DC, September 14, 2007.

Commenting on assassinated Lebanese President Bashir Gemayel (killed by operatives from the Syrian National-Social Party on September 14, 1982) Dr Walid Phares said "it is against all logic and norms of international and national laws that the assassins of President Bashir Gemayel are still at large inside Lebanon and in Syria as well." Phares, who knew Gemayel personally from the early 1970s, said "while the Lebanese justice system knows very well who committed this terror act, which organization was behind it, and which regime was involved in it, no Lebanese Government since 1982 has proceeded to arrest the perpetrators and asked the court system to begin the trial."

Phares, who remembers Bashir Gemayel as a teacher in a high school in the early 1970s, later met him during the process that led to the issuing of UNSCR 436 in October 1978 calling on the Syrians to cease the shelling of civilian areas and withdraw from many zones in Lebanon. "Bashir Gemayel wanted to see Lebanon becoming again a free, pluralistic and democratic country. He was committed to fight Terrorism and had been resisting the Syrian occupation and the terrorist organizations long time before Western democracies realized the dimension of the threat after 2001. Even before the Lebanese war, He was warning politicians that a crisis was to occur if the Lebanese Army wasn't empowered by the Government to seize the control of all terror camps in the country. Unfortunately for Lebanon, that crisis exploded and lasted 15 years. He was killed by the Terrorists for the same reasons Gebran Tueni, Pierre Gemayel, Rafiq Hariri, Walid Eido, Samir Qassir, George Hawi, Kamal Jumblat, Rene Mouawad, Mufti Hassan Khaled and Riad Taha were assassinated: maintaining Lebanon under Syrian (and Iranian) control."

"Had Bashir survived the crime," continued Phares, he would have asked the UN to issue resolutions similar to UNSCR 1559 to call on Syria to withdraw, on the militias to disarm, and even on the Iranian Pasdaran to leave the country. He would have worked on national reconciliation, decentralization and on Peace. Lebanon would have already rejoined the international community as a prosperous country by the end of the 1980s. And had Bashir been alive these days he would have certainly been with the Cedars Revolution and March 14. There is no doubt about that. He would have been with an ally to the free world in the War on Terror. Every politician has issues and he can be criticized for many matters, but Bashir Gemayel sacrificed his life for the freedom of his people. A freedom still to be regained."