The Guardians of the Cedars issued the following communiqué:

When the United States declared war on terrorism, we expected the societies of the Free World, the Europeans in particular, to support it with all their resources in order to combat this scourge that has metastasized like a cancer to all reaches of the globe. Sadly, the exact opposite happened, for not only did these societies stay neutral but they also went on to launch against the US a vicious political and media campaign that has contributed to a large extent to hampering the war and stunting its strength and progress.

On listening to Western media lashing out bitterly and around the clock against the American war on Iraq one cannot help but feel that these societies are standing, albeit indirectly, on the side of tyrants and criminals instead of seeking to remove them and support their peoples who are crushed under their tyranny and oppression. Worse yet, the European governments oppose the war on terrorism without in the least offering any alternative, as if tyrants and dictators do leave their thrones willingly in the course of normal political life and there is no need for force to dislodge them, or as if terrorism can be treated with lotions and potions instead of radical surgery!

We understand the position of the Arab governments who oppose American policy aiming at spreading democracy and changing the political culture of the Greater Middle East, considering that those regimes are themselves the direct targets of that policy. Any war on terror is a war on them, and any political reform jeopardizes their permanence, and any move towards democracy means the end of their dictatorial and absolutist rule. What we do not understand, however, is the position of Western nations in general who do not want to fight terrorism but won't let others fight it, even if they themselves are the next targets on the list of that terrorism after the United States .

What matters ultimately is that the US is staying the course of the war without hesitation or regret, alone and on behalf of the entire world. The commitment that the US made to itself to pursue terrorism wherever it may be, even in its own den, and bring terrorists to justice or bring justice to them, is a noble commitment and a valiant and courageous stand that only great and extraordinary nations can make, especially when the US itself assumed the burden of completing this great and extraordinary mission. Furthermore, this commitment stems from great vision, wisdom, and virtue, for in the words of Thomas Jefferson , vision is to know what you have to do, wisdom is to know how to do it, and virtue is to actually do it. For this reason, free and honorable people in this world, as few as they may be, value these positions and can only have contempt for the vacillation, defeatism, and obsequiousness of the position of European societies.

It is also critical that the phases of the commitment be implemented with alacrity but without haste, because any delay exposes the effort to failure, especially since its enemies are numerous and seek any opportunity to try and defeat it.

And what is even more important for us is to rapidly and finally heal that open and festering wound called Lebanon , and extricate it from the claws of the Syrian dragon before it is too late. If not, the Lebanon issue will forever remain a dark chapter in the annals of American foreign policy.

Lebanon , at your service,

Abu Arz,

February 14, 2004