The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:

From a careful reading of UN resolution 1559 and its provisions, especially Article 5 stipulating that the Security Council "Declares its support for a free and fair electoral process in Lebanon's upcoming presidential election conducted according to Lebanese constitutional rules devised without foreign interference or influence", we draw the following conclusions:

1 – Whereas the extension of the sitting president and his regime's term has breached Security Council resolution 1559 in a complete and flagrant manner, in the sense that it was not free and not fair, that it did not respect but rather violated the country's constitutional rules, and that it was conducted under duress and pressure according to the will of the Syrian occupier, the extension is therefore null and void according to international law. The international community is now legally compelled to boycott the Lebanese regime in all its components and strip it of any legitimacy it may have given it heretofore. It must refuse to deal with any government, official delegations, or decisions that the regime may form or take. In this context, we condemn the recent oversight by the Security Council when it officially met with a Lebanese delegation that had lost its legitimacy under the resolution and which was trying to lobby the Security Council in favor of an illegal situation. In this, the Security Council stands now to have breached its own resolution.

2 – Whereas the present regime came to power in 1998 in the same manner that it extended its own term last month, i.e. by the will of the Syrian regime that selected it and imposed it on the Lebanese people by amending the constitution in its favor, the legality of the regime has in fact been null and void from the start. This is based on Article 5 of UNSCR 1559 and on all applicable laws and conventions worldwide, whereby any action or attribute or measure taken in a climate of threat and compulsion is de facto null and void.

3 – Going further back in history, what is true of this regime is also true of its predecessor since it too was brought about by the will of the Syrian regime after it assassinated "president" René Moawad in order to install another president more subservient to Syria. It then extended the term of that "president" in 1995 for three years in the same exact manner as it did last month.

4 – Since all successive parliaments and governments that followed since 1990 – when Lebanon fell under the grip of the Syrian occupation – were pure Syrian vintage, they also are illegal and null and void. Consequently, all treaties and agreements that were sealed during that period, in particular the bilateral "Brotherhood, Cooperation, and Coordination Treaty" and its corollaries, should also be abrogated for the same reason, especially that they were reached between an occupied country and the occupier, and between one sovereign government and a government that had lost its sovereignty, much as the treaties that the Vichy government of France signed with the Nazi occupation during World War II.

All of this leads us to what we have said time and again, namely that the anomalous political status quo in place since 1990 must be rejected wholesale. It should not be recognized or dealt with because of its lack of legitimacy, legal or constitutional. The only government that ought to be recognized as legitimate is the government of General Aoun that was formed in 1988 by presidential decree issued by the legal presidency at the time according to the constitutional rules. It should be noted that the toppling of the Aoun government by the Syrian army in October 1990 does not take away its legality or its legitimacy. In fact, it strengthened them in the hearts and minds of the Lebanese people.

From day one of the rise of the Taef republic, we deemed it unworthy and doomed to disappear fairly quickly because it was built on sand. All things built on sand are destined to disappear when their time comes. And the time has come with the winds of change to sweep this filth called the Lebanese regime and, it seems, the Syrian regime along with it. This time is upon us now.

Lebanon, at your service


01 October 2004