The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following weekly communiqué:

For many long years we thought that the Syrian occupation was the mother of all ills in Lebanon and the only source of its problems and crises. However, after the occupation has ended, it became clear that the fundamental problem lies inside Lebanese society, specifically with the new-old political establishment and its mercantile mentality that is always ready to trample the sacred in order to make a grab at power, then hold it until bequeathing it to its children and grand-children... For how else can we explain the ability of the occupation to stay on our land for 30 continuous years were it not for the comfortable cover offered to it by this sick political class and the political prostitution it practiced over the dignity and freedom of the people??? And how can we explain the position of those chameleons who today attack the Syrian regime and hurl insult after insult at it after they were, until the very recent past, its strongest advocates, supporters and defenders???

In order for those Americans and Europeans who are concerned with the Lebanon file not to be lost in the maze of Lebanese politics, we should remind them that the majority of the political class, both ruling and in the opposition, was the first to welcome the Syrian occupation army when it entered in the summer of 1976 and all the way until it departed in the spring of 2005. It was the first to open for it the doors so wide as to enter deep inside Lebanese life and interfere in every little detail. And there was not one exception to this rule except the Guardians of the Cedars Party which moved its rank and file at that point to the mountains of Aqura in a symbolic gesture to express their rejection of that occupation. The Party paid a heavy price in return, and continues to pay to this date in persecution, harassment and displacement.

It is also worth recalling that this troupe of politicians, or perhaps its majority, seized the opportunity of the occupation to get a grab at power, and went to all lengths to beg the occupier for positions and posts, without any consideration for the sovereignty and independence of the nation. It further applied the rule that says that power is the way to wealth, and indulged itself in a culture of corruption and corrupting in solidarity and connivance with the occupier, literally tearing up the State and leaving no value or money that it did not violate or embezzle, until Lebanon became the country with the most debts in the world and the State on the verge of collapse.

So it is no surprise therefore that even with the occupation gone, the situation remains the same. It is even getting worse by the day, and those who resisted the temptation of emigrating are packing their bags and anyone who saw a glimmer of hope in March 14 has now returned to a state of despair and frustration.

We are not pessimists. Yet we need to put the finger on the wound of this endless Lebanese crisis and show where the problem is. There needs to be a diagnosis of the Lebanese illness for that, by itself, is half the cure. Second, we need to expose these facts to those concerned with Lebanon so they do not make the mistake of misdiagnosing the problem and then become disillusioned and abandon their rescue efforts.

Fifty-seven days have now elapsed on the denial of freedom for our comrades Habib Younis, Naji Audeh and Joseph Taouq. We remind the government that this act is a clear violation of Lebanese law and the constitution, and a flagrant breach of the UN Charter and the Charter of Human Rights, not to mention the fact that this constitutes a dark blemish on the State in this post-March 14 phase. Oppression can only be doomed to failure.

Lebanon , at your service

Abu Arz
November 11, 2005