The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:

With the ongoing discussion about the causes of the agony of Lebanon today, we ought to diagnose the disease before prescribing the cure… And since we are witnesses to the events and informed about the case, we are convinced that the primary cause for this wretched situation is the adoption of the Taef regime as a new constitution for the country instead of the original constitution. We recall that the Taef Agreement is the product of a tripartite conspiracy skillfully prepared by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the participation of Syria and under the auspices of the American administration. It turned out to be a new poisoned gift sent to us by the kingdom to add to its former “generous” gifts aiming at destroying Lebanon by destabilizing its structure and obliterate its national identity, and eliminate its cultural distinctiveness… The following are examples of the fatal harm resulting from this agreement-conspiracy:

First, the reduction of the prerogatives of the President of the Republic and their distribution to the Speaker of Parliament, and the Prime Minister and his cabinet, under the pretext of satisfying the various sects and ending the “internal infighting” and achieving “civil peace”…and so on to the end of the big lie. And because the fighting was not between the sects over religious issues, but was rather between these communities’ leaders over political issues; and because the war was not essentially “civil” but rather “national” in reality; and because the premises for this Agreement were wrong the outcome has been equally failing and opposite, the leaders of the sects went on a power struggle. Each one began using his own community to defeat his opponent, which causes sharp sectarian tensions that were never known to exist before. The state became a three-headed monster that made peace (between the three heads) on certain days but fought all the time. Which led to a complete fracture of the regime, paralysis of the institutions, and the fall of the country into a deadly coma.

Second, it gave Syria carte blanche in Lebanon, which made Damascus the source of all authority from appointing the president, the prime minister and the ministers, to the Speaker and members of Parliament, and all the way to the top-tier State employees and administrators, especially the Army Chiefs of Staff and all other sensitive positions in the military institution…Clearly the interest of the occupation always lies in weakening the occupied country by fragmenting it in anticipation of absorbing it, Syria deliberately stoked the fires of discord and exploited all internal differences, all according to the divide-and-conquer rule. More importantly it began choosing the worst kind of politicians to place in decision-making positions and to rule over the Lebanese. And so they assembled this corrupt bunch of officials who have perfected political oppression like no others before them.

Third, it consecrated the “Arabism” of Lebanon and falsified its national identity, cornering it into the inter-Arab and Arab-Israeli conflicts and forcing it to fight Israel on behalf of all the Arabs. And so it was, and the Lebanese people paid a hefty price in their lives and livelihoods for the sake of others, not for their own sake… Then Syria exploited this anomalous circumstance and converted it into a dumping ground for its human refuse and planted in its four corners a number of terrorist groups to use in its war against Israel and the United States.

In describing the facts behind this perfectly well planned conspiracy, we wanted to present them as a witness of history and to remind the world of the crimes that were committed toward this small country. We also wanted the masks to fall off the face of the Wahhabi regime that hides the most dangerous religious fanaticism in our time behind apparent moderation. The Syrian regime, which has embodied modern imperialism in one of its worst manifestations, and the American administration, which colluded with the Saudis over Lebanon since the early 1960s and managed its assassination with expert treachery and hypocrisy.

We have endlessly repeated to American and European officials, and for more than a quarter of a century, that Lebanon was the last checkpoint in confronting the terrorist threat marching from east to west. And we asked them to help Lebanon resist the onslaught because the fall of Lebanon would mean that terrorism has reached their heartland. We do not exaggerate by saying that the terrorism that struck Europe and lately the United States on September 11 was the caused in part by the fall of Lebanon into the hands of the terrorists. And so the United States would have harvested what it had sown, according to the saying of the prophet Habbakuk in the second chapter, verse 16-17: The cup of the LORD's right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory. For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein…

Lebanon, at your service,

Abu Arz,
August 01, 2003