The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following weekly communiqué:
It was with a good dose of interest and worry that the Lebanese people followed the news about the recent meeting between General Aoun and Doctor Geagea, and which ended with “an agreement on the goals and the right to compete without friction” as stated by them.
The interest is due to the fact that the meeting came after an estrangement that lasted 16 years in the aftermath of a fierce war between the Lebanese Army and the Lebanese Forces early in 1990. That war ended with the defeat of everyone and the liberated regions, known as the Eastern regions, fell to the Syrian occupation army and the heinous Taef Agreement was put in place. Ultimately, the war also led to the displacement of thousands of young people to the far corners of the world and the persecution of those who remained to resist on the soil of the country, not to mention the hundreds of young men who fought side by side for one cause only to fall as martyrs or become handicapped as a result of that mad war.
The worry, on the other hand, comes from the tensions that continue to permeate relations between the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces, as evidenced by the heated feuds between the two groups that typically accompany student elections. The worry particularly comes as a result of Patriarch Sfeir's latest words, “The Christians have forgotten nothing and have learned nothing”, much as it comes from the competition that is anticipated as we near the upcoming presidential elections. The latter have always been the principal source of sharp conflicts between the bosses of the Maronite denomination that have brought nothing but harm to the community in particular and to Lebanon in general since the 1940s and to this day.
We do not bring this up to add more pain to an open wound or to dig up the past with all its tragedies, painful memories and wrong practices, the most prominent of which was the so-called “War of Elimination”, which not only led to the devastation of the liberated regions that stood as a beacon and an example, but also to the destruction of the dream that those regions represented for the liberation the remaining parts of Lebanon from Syrian hegemony... We say all this to remember the fatal mistakes and avoid them, and to learn from the examples of the past in order to build a better tomorrow on the basis of solidarity, unity, and concord, since division is a recipe for failure while unity is a recipe for success.
All that we, and all the loyal Lebanese, hope for is that Patriarch Sfeir is mistaken in his assessment because we are aware that the General and the Doctor know that the people can no longer accept more division, oppression and suffering, and that the Maronite-Maronite conflict must stop if this community is to stand on its feet and for this country to step out from the abyss.
Lebanon , at your service
December 2, 2005