The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:

In two interviews to the American media, namely The Washington Post and Newsweek, the president of the Syrian regime linked a withdrawal of his army from Lebanon to a comprehensive solution in the region and to a withdrawal of Israel from " all " Lebanese territory. With this, the Syrian regime has clearly revealed its imperialist nature and has removed all pretexts and false slogans behind which it hid in the past to justify its occupation of Lebanon.

In order to refresh the memory of the regime, and the fading memory of some Lebanese, the following is a list of some of those pretexts and slogans as they have been propagated in world public opinion, particularly when the regime's local agents and collaborators repeated them verbatim to cover up for the occupation of their country and to protect their positions of political power.

From day one of its entry into Lebanon the regime claimed that its forces were in the country on a temporary basis to stop the " internal bloodletting ", put an end to the " civil " war, bring back calm and stability to it, and so on and so forth. However, the succession of events has exposed the lies behind these claims, as the occupation renewed its own mandate by itself, and as the war went on a hellish crescendo directly fueled and incited by Syria through the sowing of discord among the Lebanese.

The Syrian regime went on to new pretexts to continue justifying its occupation : To preserve the unity of Lebanon, to confront the partition plot, to support the military institutions, etc. Again, all these slogans fell by the wayside when the Lebanese army fought the Syrian forces on many fronts and at different times, and when Lebanon resisted Syria's divide-and-conquer strategy since the unity of Lebanon and the Lebanese is a historic constant that cannot be changed by anyone.

The regime then drummed up new reasons, including the argument that its presence in Lebanon prevents Israel from taking advantage of Lebanon and actually confronts the Israeli aggression against it. Events again belie these arguments, since the Syrian forces in Lebanon never fired a single bullet against Israeli forces, neither in defense of targeted Lebanese Army forces nor when Syrian forces themselves were targeted by Israel.

After the May 2000 Israeli withdrawal from the South to positions behind the Blue Line drawn up by the UN, the Syrians lost their last pretext for staying in Lebanon. So the Syrian regime hurried to invent a new lie, namely that the Shebaa Farms is Lebanese territory, in order to keep coupling the Lebanese track to the Syrian track in the peace process, and to link the fate of the Golan to that of the Shebaa Farms. On that basis, the Lebanese army was forbidden by Syria from entering the South and taking control of the Lebanese border, a situation that persists to this day in spite of international pressures.

This is but a brief synopsis of the big lie propagated for three decades by the Syrian regime and its Lebanese collaborators and agents who rule today from their positions of disgrace and baseness rooted in treason and unprincipled mercantilism. Let international public opinion be aware of these facts, and may Lebanese public opinion never forget them.

Lebanon, at your service,

Abu Arz,

May 17 2003.