The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:

The Lebanese are watching with great concern the recent American military build-up in the region for the probable campaign against Iraq. This has caused them at the same time great worry and great hope.

The worry is caused by several factors, namely:

1) The Lebanese fear that the American initiative will be concentrated exclusively upon toppling over the regime of Saddam Hussein, and ignoring all the other regimes that are as much if not more tyrannical, despotic, terrorist and criminal. This is especially applicable to the Syrian regime which, not satisfied with slaughtering its own people as in Hama and elsewhere, crossed over to Lebanon where for the past quarter of a century it has gone to extremes in repressing the Lebanese people, crushing them, displacing them and forcing them to emigrate to the far corners of the world. This, not to speak of the hundreds of young men that were abducted and buried in the dungeons of Mazzeh, Tadmor and others, where they are subjected to unimaginable torture far exceeding the notorious techniques invented by the Nazis!

2) If the Americans execrate in the Iraqi regime its dictatorship, why do they exclude all the other Arab regimes? Are they not all, from the Ocean to the Gulf, dictatorial, theocratic, tyrannical, oppressive, despotic and plunged from head to toe in the quagmire of ignorance, fanaticism and backwardness? Haven’t they all resorted to the heresy of automatic renewal hegemony of the brass hats monopolizing the reigns of power for decades on end by means of sham elections, rarely granting them less than 99.99% of the votes? To this we must add that the Syrian regime has surpassed in danger all the others when it transported its despotic know-how to Lebanon, the sole democratic oasis in this region, where it curbed freedom so effectively that it kept of democracy only an empty name on the lips of the persons it has placed in power to rule the so-called “Felix” Taef Republic, who sometimes clash with each other, only to be reconciled by their Syrian masters.

3) And if the Iraqi regime presents a danger to its neighbors, what of the Syrian regime which notoriously possesses similar mass destruction weapons and long-range ballistic missiles that can carry chemical, biological, bacterial and other cones? And what of the atomic plant it has recently acquired from Iraq to its Kamishly Department, as was revealed by the international and local media, thereby concealing it from the UN investigators?

4) The Lebanese are also worried by the continuous blackout made on the conduct and the avoidance, by the American Administration in particular and the European countries in general, of any reference to the Syrian regime’s loathsome activity. Most worrying is the current flirt between France and Syria and the visit made by the Pope to Damascus last year which seemed as the Vatican’s approval of Syria’s ascendancy over Lebanon!

5) The Lebanese worry also arises from the cunning and the chameleonic capacity of the Syrian regime permitting it to deviate, compromise, strike a balance, warp and bend before the storm, to weather it.

Consequently, the Lebanese consider that war is the only solution for their chronic crisis. Their hope emanates from their faith in Heaven’s Justice, and their belief that the military campaign against Iraq is part of the overall American strategy aimed at eliminating all the sources of terrorism in the region, and that the expected military shock will indict the tyrannical Arab regimes, making them foot the bill for the storm breaking in from Iraq, and the price for their participation in the crime of the assassination of Lebanon.

And time will soon tell!

Lebanon, at your service,

Abu Arz,

February 8, 2003.