The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:

At a public event in the Upper Metn district, the head of the Taef government gave a speech to a largely Lebanese audience comprising a few Gulf Arabs. As usual, the speech contained all manners of delusions and evasiveness… We would have preferred not to respond were it not for our concern that the public is presented with the truth and refute this man’s fallacies who has not stopped lying for 12 years, that is, since he assumed his post and to this day.

He said “the number of tourists who came to Lebanon this year is unprecedented in the history of Lebanon…” The fact is that tourist seasons have long left Lebanon since the early 1970s, when the Arabs declared their open war on the country, and to this day. The tourists to whom the man is referring to are summer residents and not tourists and there is a big difference between the two. Summer residents are owners on our land and Lebanon does not benefit from them. They spend sparingly, and hotels, apartment rentals, restaurants, and even taxis do not do any business from them. They bring their own cars, and some of them actually rent out their apartments during winter for monthly returns…. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that these summer residents, after the Taef regime legalized their wholesale purchase of Lebanese lands, have become the landlords while the Lebanese are no more than mere tourists in their own country!! So what tourism is this liar talking about? Unless, of course, he is including the flourishing Syrian tourism in his statistics!!

If that was not enough, he went on to say: “During the war the Lebanese went to the Gulf countries and were received like family members and neighbors, and all doors were opened to them…” The fact, however, is that the number of Lebanese who went to the Gulf during the war is very small compared to the huge numbers that went to Western countries. And the Gulf Arabs did not welcome the Lebanese out of love or because of their “Arab identity”, but because of their advanced skills and expertise, and everyone knows that the development of the Gulf was for the most part carried out by the Lebanese… Keeping in mind that obtaining a visa to the Gulf countries is much more difficult than obtaining a visa to Western countries, so what “Arabism” is this liar talking about? And where are those doors that the Arabs supposedly have opened to the Lebanese?

Further, the man said: “The war has ended and civil peace has returned to Lebanon, and the Arab brothers, especially the Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia and Syria had an effective role in strengthening the peace…” We ask him: Has the war really ended in Lebanon? And when did that happen? And where is the civil peace that he is talking about, in the least among the regime figures? And let this liar tell us how did the Arabs, especially Saudi Arabia and Syria, contribute to enforcing the civil peace when they were the ones who destroyed this country and struck a knife in the heart of its civil peace?

And finally he said: “The Gulf countries have helped in the recovery of Lebanon and the return to normal life and stability that this country is enjoying…” We reply to him that the petty financial aid that these countries offered from time to time to Lebanon pales in comparison to the destruction they inflicted upon the country in the first place during the past quarter of century – either through their financial and weapons support to Yasser Arafat and his terrorist gangs, or through their support of the Syrian occupation that happily squats on our land since 1976… And to speak about a return of normality and stability is the ultimate insolence. We challenge the man to dare declare the real numbers of the public debt and the treasury deficit, as well as the proportion of the Lebanese who are living below the poverty line during his “reign of prosperity”!!

It is no secret to say that the man was brought to Lebanon from Saudi Arabia at the establishment of the Taef regime with the specific objective of overseeing the final chapter in the conspiracy against Lebanon. His objectives are the bankruptcy of the state in preparation for the economic collapse of the country after it had fallen militarily, and that is exactly what he did. This is where the man is truly dangerous, and this is where he will be held to account for his actions.

Lebanon, at your service,

Abu Arz,
August 15, 2003