The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:

The manner in which the decision to re-open the MTV television station was issued proves that shutting it down in the first place was arbitrary and hostile. That decision was like all the other arbitrary decisions that were taken against the honorable Lebanese to marginalize and eliminate them from the political arena, with the objective of shrinking the sphere of freedom in the country down to its minimum and convert the Lebanese regime into a clone of the Syrian regime. As a consequence, this decision imposes on the government other obligations to the station, the least of which would be to present an apology to its owners and staff for the great moral harm they suffered, in addition to offering it specific financial compensation that is commensurate with the substantial material damages that it incurred during the years of closure, particularly that the leading figures of the government who decreed the closure continue to squat happily in power and positions of authority.

As we wish MTV an auspicious and victorious comeback, we believe that the latter is a step forward on the road to the recovery of freedom and the independence of decision-making, much as it represents a glimmer of hope for our people who remain buried in a sea of despair and frustration, and for the broad audience of MTV that yearns for the daring words and the courageous stance.

But as for the claims of Syria about its missing citizens in Lebanon, everyone knows this is a new pre-emptive lie concocted by Damascus in trying to extricate itself out of the thick file of the missing Lebanese in Syrian jails, a file that has now taken an international dimension and has become a nightmare, along many others, that is depriving the men of the Syrian regime of their sleep. On top of the list is the ongoing international investigation of the assassination of Rafik Hariri and the upcoming report by Detlev Mehlis which puts Syria in the inner circle of the accused.

Clearly, the Syrian regime is in a state of disequilibrium and estrangement, after it suffered blow after blow right to its nerve center, particularly its forced eviction from Lebanon. So much so that it has begun losing its cunning ability at lying and maneuvering, and everyone can see through its tricks. For how is it possible that it suddenly started caring only today about its nationals who have gone missing long time ago, as it claims, and it never bothered to ask about them or look for them while it ran Lebanon like a slave? How come it never searched for its people when its security services and its Mukhabaraat roamed free across Lebanon interfering in every aspect of its daily life?? And that is, if there are really missing Syrians. How come did all this come up at the exact time as the border crisis between Lebanon and Syria?

Those are questions that may remain unanswered because the Syrian regime has apparently also lost its ability to both speak and think...As the saying goes, “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

Lebanon, at your service

Abu Arz
August 19, 2005