The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:
And finally, after it had been a taboo for a long time, the file of the South Lebanon Army has been wide opened and is now the subject of debate in Parliament and in the local and foreign media. This is due to the quintessential boldness and courage of General Aoun, but also the benevolence of the Maronite Patriarch who was a pioneer in raising this question.
The Lebanese are divided on this issue, and they are of three minds on it:
First, there are those who understand the cause of this army, the circumstances under which it came to be and its long struggle, and they deal with it from a positive standpoint and ask that it be resolved in a framework that preserves the dignity of the South Lebanon Army and is commensurate with the enormous sacrifices that it made for Lebanon.
Second, there are those who espouse enmity towards the Army from the standpoints of, one, ideology that is rooted in religious fundamentalism and, two, politics linked to the Syrian-Iranian alliance. These people have imposed their opinion on the rest of the Lebanese in an act of political insolence that they have practiced to perfection, so much so that they have come to decide the country’s domestic and foreign policies, and everyone has turned a blind eye on this situation because of fear, subservient bootlicking or deceptive groupthink.
Third, there are those who are neutral on this issue because they really know little about it. This group makes up the majority of the Lebanese people, and their lack of understanding of this issue is due to a policy of misguidance and suppression practiced by the Syrian occupation and its domestic poodles over the past thirty years. Not to mention the campaigns of duplicity and deception that certain media channels force feed down the throats of the Lebanese people each and every day with the objective of portraying patriots as agents, and agents as patriots.
Raising this sensitive issue at this time will remove the veil of darkness and allow the Lebanese people to discover for themselves truths and facts that were forbidden to them not so long ago. It will also speed up a closure of the Lebanese crisis on the premise that only the truth will rescue Lebanon, whereas lies and deception will kill it.
As to the visit by the Prime Minister to Damascus, we believe it is a failure even before it begins. This is because the Lebanese government continues to deal with the Syrian regime with a mindset of mendicants and a logic of servility and inferiority complexes, when what is required right now is to dispense with Syria in all areas and until further notice.
Finally, the opening of the borders for Lebanese trucks that came after the Prime Minister’s visit is, in our opinion, a temporary measure. We believe Syria will go back to repeatedly closing the border every time it wants to blackmail and humiliate the Lebanese people.
Only radical solutions that are built on clout and national dignity build a nation, and this calls for statesmen with the stature of giants, and not politicians the size of dwarfs.
Lebanon, at your service
August 5, 2005