In honor of his passing, Ya Libnan is publishing selected editorials by Gibran Tueni. Prior to the assassination of Rafik Hariri, Tueni slams the pro-Syrian president for his refusal to disarm Hizbullah and disinterest in Lebanon's stability and independence: "Doesn't anyone dare explain to Lahoud that resolution 1559 is the result of the oppression of the Lebanese people, the mistakes of the Lebanese authorities and Syria's bad performance in Lebanon?"
Lebanon Is Fed Up of Demagogic Speeches
By Gibran Tueni, An-Nahar
Beirut, 13 January 2005
President Emile Lahoud's statements to the foreign diplomatic and consular corps and Premier Omar Karami's statement to the consular corps were totally illogical, even though they were addressed to extraordinary people who have a high level of education and expertise. As a matter of fact, the diplomats and the consuls did not understand why resolution 1559 would be a threat to Lebanon's unity, security and stability.
Would anyone explain to us and to them how the calls for the respect of Lebanon's sovereignty and independence would be a threat to Lebanon's unity, stability and independence?
How is it that the calls for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Lebanon would be a threat to its unity, stability and independence?
How is it that the calls for the banning and disarmament of all militias would be a threat to Lebanon's unity, stability and independence?
How is it that the calls for the respect of democracy and the holding of free elections would be a threat to Lebanon's unity, stability and independence?
These are not Israeli requests as Premier Karami said.
How is it that the international community's insistence on preserving Lebanon's integrity would be a threat to its unity, stability and independence?
Would anyone explain to us how the presence of the Lebanese army in the South would protect Israel not Lebanon, and how the deployment of the army on the borders during war times would be a threat to the country? Is the army designed only for peace times?
If so, why do the countries build armies and spend a lot of money on them? Isn't it for the defense of their borders against enemies?
Doesn't President Lahoud think that saying such words in front of a respected diplomatic corps is shameful for Lebanon and its credibility on the international scene?
The diplomatic corps and the international community won't respect us when the Lebanese President attacks UN resolution 1559 on the grounds of defending Syria not Lebanon, whereas the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister declared the same day that his country is not in a war with resolution 1559.
Don't the officials realize that the policy of subordination does not serve Lebanon, Syria or the Lebanese-Syrian relations? It also harms Lebanon's and Syria's images in the West.
Isn't there one rational official who would say to President Lahoud that such positions harm both Lebanon and Syria?
Doesn't anyone dare explain to Lahoud that resolution 1559 is the result of the oppression of the Lebanese people, the mistakes of the Lebanese authorities and Syria's bad performance in Lebanon?
What was President Lahoud thinking when he said that resolution 1559 would contribute to the resettlement of the Palestinians in Lebanon? As long as all the Lebanese people, from all groups and confessions, and the authorities are against the resettlement of Palestinians, this issue would not pose a real threat. Moreover, who dares sign the resettlement decree?
Furthermore, the President should explain to the people that Israel's refusal to implement the resolution about the Palestinians' right of return does not mean it denies the Palestinians' right to return to the future Palestinian state, but to Israel where they will become second-degree Israeli citizens.
Why doesn't someone inform Lahoud about the conclusions of the famous Taba meeting of the refugees' committee in 2000 which discussed the Palestinians' return to their homeland or their assimilation in different countries throughout the world? The United States and Canada took then a clear position when they accepted to receive more than 500 thousand Palestinian refugees, most of them from Lebanon, in case Israel continued to deny them their right of return, or in case the Palestinians themselves refused to return to Palestine!
President Lahoud should take a look at the remarks noted by the present Spanish Foreign Minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, who participated in the meeting.
Enough bargaining about the Palestinians' resettlement because the real threat is somewhere else, i.e. Lahoud's insistence on linking the settlement of the Lebanese crisis to all the issues of the Middle East… and maybe the world, and on making Lebanon a hostage or rather a bargaining chip used by all those who have a pending issue in this world.
What was Lahoud thinking when he said that disarming the Palestinian camps means depriving them of the tool of peace, at a time when the Palestinian authorities decided to stop armed operations and resistance against Israel, especially from the Lebanese territory?
The verbal one-upmanship neither protects Lebanon nor serves its interests. What really serves the interests of Lebanon and Syria and the Lebanese-Syrian relations is the implementation of resolution 1559.
Moreover, in order to protect the resistance, Hizbullah militia should be dismantled, illegal weapons banned and the Lebanese army should be deployed on the borders with Israel and in the South. More specifically, there should be no military operations to liberate Shebaa Farms amid a volatile regional juncture, because they may lay a huge burden on Lebanon's, and maybe Syria's stability and security.
These operations serve Israel because it could use them as a pretext to attack Lebanon and Syria.
The ordinary citizen who was surprised by the deterioration of the security and military situation in the South would ask "why does Lebanon alone fight Israel whereas other Arab fronts are secure and calm?"
Why does Lebanon alone fight a military war against Israel whereas Syria is attached to the truce with Israel in the Golan Heights?
Mr. President, take it easy. Demagogic ways are neither in the interests of Lebanon nor in the interests of Syria. And I don't think they are in your interests if the aim is to restore a certain position or role!
The goal, Mr. President, must be to save Lebanon and protect its national interests, to put the Lebanese-Syrian relations on the right track, to uphold Lebanon's reputation and credibility in international bodies, and to restitute the Lebanese people's trust in their country after the political community deprived Lebanon of its values and its people through demagogic speeches, and the most recent example was the statements of the President and the Premier to the Arab and foreign diplomatic and consular corps.
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