The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:

"The mountain that gave birth to a mouse"! That is basically what the "million people demonstration" of this past week in Beirut amounted to. Called for by the Taef regime and organized by the Syrian and Lebanese Intelligence Services that mobilized all their efforts and capabilities to ensure the success of the event, the whole thing ended up in a monumental failure in all aspects.

It failed first by principle, because to hold a demonstration that is pre-fabricated by the ruling authorities is deviant and violates the most basic rules of democracy. Only police states resort to these cheap tactics to denature the will of the people and impose its policies on it. Only police states have perfected the practice of organizing demonstrations or repressing them according to their needs. And the Taef State is no exception, now that it has proved, yet again, to the world that it is a police State par excellence.

It failed in mustering the numbers it claimed it could muster, massing no more than a hundred thousand demonstrators, which is merely a tenth of what it promised. Even with the tactics of terrorizing and enticing that it put in place on the people in their municipalities, schools, religious and civil institutions, and others; and in spite of the money it spent on some and the convoys of public transportation vehicles that it put at the service of others; and notwithstanding the advertisement campaign it sponsored in the media and that was provided by military helicopters from the air; and in addition to the thousands of foreigners – Palestinians, Syrians, and naturalized aliens – whom it called upon at the last minute to cover for its ineptitude and its utter failure. And so the reality of this demonstration is that it turned against its organizers, uncovered how pitiful and laughable they are to their people, and it removed the fig leaf from the shameful nakedness of this so-called government.

If failed because there was nothing Lebanese to it. It was a Syrian demonstration on Lebanese soil and with a local face, beginning with its slogans, chants and speeches of its speakers, and ending with its monolithic audience, excepting of course the Lebanese flag that they raised to save face.

It failed to divide the Lebanese along sectarian lines as the Syrians wish, and our people remained in their vast majority attached to their national unity, which is one of the deeply rooted pillars of the nation's existence.

It failed because the calls of the demonstrators and their slogans and speeches against resolution 1559 and Israel were timed with the declaration by Bashar Assad in Egypt that he is ready to negotiate with Israel without pre-conditions and that he is willing to cooperate in a positive manner with resolution 1559.

Finally, it failed in sending a message to the outside world because resolution 1559 is on a fast track and won't be impeded by this empty cacophony and those inflated muscles.

A State that has lost its balance, disseminated corruption across the country, failed in everything except in treason, and can't even provide electricity to its people, is impotent when it comes to confronting the challenges of the international community.

Lebanon, at your service

Abu Arz

December 3, 2004