By: George Khoury LCCC Foreign Affairs Chairman 19/9/2001
For the last 25 years, the brave and resilient people of Lebanon have been under the hegemony of the worst totalitarian and anachronistic regimes in the Middle East. The hegemonic regime of the late Hafez Assad has left a bloody and long tradition: the massacre of over 30,000 citizens in the city of Hama in 1982 simply so Assad could remain the only ruler in Syria. Such regime proceeded to and continues to destroy Lebanon. The Assad regime has killed over 200,000 Lebanese, and forced the emigration of 1.5 million. All this in an attempt by Syria to fulfill its megalomaniacal, and hegemonic dream; of swallowing Lebanon; annexing it as a part of Syria. Besides killing its national leaders, attempting to eradicate every shred of the unique kaleidoscope that is Lebanese culture: cosmopolitan education, a unique history and pluralism: the freedom of all religions, and all sects as what happened at the University of Lebanon, the American University and many other institutions, the list is long.
Syria has installed a puppet regime in Lebanon starting with Elias Alharawi, and then General Lahoud as the Vichi French government before under the Nazi occupation. Former President Harawi and PM Rafik Alhariri (appointed by Syria) drafted and signed an agreement called the brotherhood collaboration, in which Syria was allowed to control the Lebanese government at every level from military, to education and even religion. Among other things, this agreement allowed the Syrians to flood the country with over 1.5 million Syrian workers; draining the already sagging Lebanese economy of more than 3 billion dollars annually. It also gave them a green light to alter Lebanon's immigration laws, forcing the Lebanese government to 'nationalize' more than 500,000 Syrian Muslims in order to destroy the demographic balance in favor of Islamic fundamentalism. Syria and its' puppets are still active as we speak in perpetrating more horrendous acts and causing more agony against Lebanon and its people through cunning tactics, and deception. Poverty in Lebanon has reached an all time high: over 60% of the Lebanese live below poverty level. The sad saga continues. We, the Lebanese people in Lebanon and abroad, grieve for the land we love.
While we understand that Lebanon has no oil or other natural resources; we have abundance of freedom-loving people. Lebanon could be the vanguard for peace in the region: once the world community insists upon the complete, immediate, and unconditional implementation of UN Resolution 520. Freedom has no price. But yet it has a high price for those who must have it. We, the Lebanese people, share a love with all freedom-loving people around the globe. We must have freedom. It is like air. No self-respecting nation can exist without it. Our nation was founded on the freedom of the individual. It is not only a founding member of the UN; but also was a facilitator of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A free people is simply who we are. And yet freedom is not simple at all. We have fought bravely and indefatigably for many years. That's how much we believe in freedom and democratic values. We urge and implore you to lend a helping hand. We ask for a hand up, not a hand out, to preserve a decent and peace-loving country that was responsible for many good things that the world enjoys: among them developing the Alphabet we speak and write today. We are a proud people with 6000 years of history. That history and our identity is being stripped away.... Gradually our freedom is stifled, and our country is controlled by a bunch of thugs who don't even seem human. They manifest no compassion, nor respect for human life. They are masters of deceit and deception in order to achieve their aims. Their aim is to terrorize and extinguish our country. The following are some of the atrocities inflicted on our people:
July 20th 1976 The late Hafez Al-Assad declares in his famous speech at the Damascus University that Syria, and Lebanon are considered one country and one people through history. Going by such ideology Syria provided the Palestinians in Lebanon with all kinds of weapons and sent its army to Lebanon under the guise of the Palestinian Liberation Army without authorization from the Lebanese government.
8-26-1983. President Hafez Assad declares that Syria and Lebanon are one country and that both Lebanese and Syrians are one people.
9-10-1975. Syrian Special troops (Saeekah) invade the Lebanese town of Dier Ashashe forcing its inhabitants to flee. They massacre three priests.
9-11-1975. Syrian Special troops invade the Southern town of Biet Malat, killing seven citizens and kidnapping ten.
9-26-1975. Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram accuses Syria of direct involvement in Lebanon's internal affairs in a bid to force its Baath ideology on its people.
10-9-1975. Syrian forces invade the Tal Abass town in the Akar district, killing fifteen citizens and injuring ten. They burned the town's church, hoping to instigate a religious strife among the Lebanese.
1-2-1975. A Syria special brigades enter the Beekah Valley without any Lebanese authorization.
1-7-1976. Syrian Vice President abdoul Halim Khadam states in an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper, that Lebanon was a part of Syria and Syria is determined to take it back.
1-15-1976. The Palestinian Yarmouk Brigade enter the Bekaa Valley under Syrian command; attacking Lebanese army positions stationed in the area.
1-19-1976. More Yarmouk forces enter northern Lebanon; attacking local police stations aided by Palestinian collaborators.
1-21-1976. The Yarmouk Brigade along with Saeekah forces attack the Chouf Christian town of Al -Damour; forcing its inhabitants to flee, killing and raping women and children by the dozens, and ravaging the whole town. Ignoring Druze Leader Kamal Jumblat's attempts to stop the attack, Syria continues unabated with its' plan to instigate a religious war among the Lebanese.
3-5-1976. The Syrian forces surround the northern towns of Kebait and Endact in Akhar; shelling both with heavy mortars, while falsely broadcasting lies claiming that the locals had asked for their help. Mr. Kamal Jumblat denounced the Syrian military invasion.
4-5-1976. Sheik Bashir Gemayel, the Lebanese forces leader declares that Lebanese parties are getting closer to resolving their differences. The Syrian troops abort all peace and conciliation efforts.
5-31-1976. Syrian army units enter northern Lebanon for the first time equipped with tanks and heavy artillery.
6-1-1976. Syrian forces advance through the Beekah Valley and overtake many strategic locations.
7-20-1976. President Hafez Al-Assad boldly declares in his famous speech, that Syria needs nobody's permission to send its' army to Lebanon.
11-11-1976. Syrian troops (Saeekah) attempt to assassinate Mr. Raymond Edeeh, head of the National Block party.
12-15-1976. Syrian army and its intelligence take control of the country's newspapers; forcing out their employees, physically abusing some and confiscating all publishing equipment in retaliation for the papers' open criticism of Syria's illegitimate military presence in Lebanon.
12-19-1976. Syrian army barges into Annahar newspaper and Lorient de Joure headquarters; occupying them.
12-20-1976. Syria's defense Minister attempts to justify these attacks to muzzle free speech as an attempt to stop them from publishing Zionist propaganda against Syria.
11-5-1977. Syrian Sai’qa invades the southern town of Alasheeyeh; killing forty-one citizens and forcing all its inhabitants to flee.
2-4-1978. The Syrian army attempts to enter the Lebanese Army Fayadeyeh Barracks (the heart of Lebanon autonomy); however, the attack is thwarted by the Lebanese Army. General Major Abdallah Elhatshiti was killed in the battle; Syria lost thirty invaders.
6-14-1978. Syrian forces shell the Christian town of Diar Elahmar in the Bekaah Valley.
6-28-1978. Gangs from the Syrian secret service (Al - Mukhabarat) invade the towns of Alkah, Rass Beaalbak, and Jadidat Altoufah. They kidnap tens of citizens, later found dead in the towns' vicinity. The whereabouts of many other inhabitants remain unknown.
6-30-1978. Syrian tank brigades, supported by their Air Force, invade the hills of Batroun in northern Lebanon. Despite heavy resistance from the locals and the Lebanese forces, they overtake the Bashari district.
9-30-1978. Heavy fighting breaks out between the Syrian army and the Lebanese Forces all over Christian East Beirut. Unable to capture the area, they retreat and resort instead to indiscriminate shelling of the area with heavy mortars and 240 ml cannons. Their cowardly act takes the lives of 100 innocent civilians; injuring more than 1000.
3-16-1977. Syrian secret service agents (Mukhabarat) assassinate Druze Leader Mr. Kamal Jumblat (a few meters from a Syrian check point) in the shouf area. They proceed to instigate numerous massacres against Christians in the area; sharing culpability for the murder in cold blood of 250 innocent civilians.
2-10-1980. Syrian army invade the town of Kanat in northern Lebanon; conquering it after six days. Tanks and heavy artillery were used in this savage Syrian attack.
2-23-1980. Syrian thugs murder Shek Bashir Gemayel's daughter, Maya, in cold blood.
2-24-1980. Salim Alousi a well known anti-Syrian Lebanese journalist is found dead at the Aramoun area. The Syrian invading troops kidnapped Mr. Lousi , tortured him and mutilated his body: his fingers were cut and burned with acid.
3-13-1980. Syrian agent Hussein Mustafa Teliass attempts to assassinate former Lebanese President Camille Chamoun with a car bomb.
7-22-1980. The Syrian Mukhabarat assassinate Mr. Riyad Taha, the head of Lebanese Journalists Union..
8-28-1980. Syrian secret agents attempt to assassinate the American Ambassador to Lebanon Mr. Joan Ghonterdean.
11-10-1980. Syrian agents exploded two car bombs in East Beirut (Ashrafeyeh) killing and injuring tens of innocent civilians. 12-23-1980. Syrian mortars rain down on the Christian town of Zahli in the Bekah Valley on Christmas Eve, causing the death and the injury of tens of innocent civilians.
2-20-1981 Syrians attempt to assassinate a Catholic Arch Bishop in the town of Bahamdoun close to a Syrian military checkpoint in a bid to instigate a religious conflict in the area.
4-2-1981. Syrian artillery basis located in Mount Lebanon shells East Beirut killing 100 innocent civilians, including school students, and without any warning.
4-3-1981. Ten thousand Syrian troops attack the Christians town of Zahli in an attempt to conquer it. Christian local militias resisted fiercely for 4 months, thwarting the Syrian invasion.
9-3-1981. Syrian agents assassinate the French Ambassador to Beirut Mr. Louis de Lamar.
12-15-1981. Iraq accuses Syrian secret service of bombing the Iraqi Embassy in Beirut; killing thirty and injuring more than one hundred twenty.
4-27-1982. Syrian agents assassinate Sheik Ahmad Assaf who had denounced the Syrian occupation.
5-1-1982. Syrian agents assassinate Father Philip Abou Suliaman in an attempt to instigate religious strife in the area.
5-24-1982. An explosion inside the French Embassy kills nine and injures twenty-six. The notorious Syrian agent Hussein Teliess carried out the attack.
5-24-1982. The French newspaper Le Matin openly accuses the Syrian secret service of bombing the French Embassy. It releases a report naming all those responsible for the terrorist attack.
7-11-1982. Syria troops shell the area of East Beirut for no reason; killing and injuring more innocent citizens.
9-14-1982. Syrian agent, Habib Chartouni, assassinates President elect Bashir Gemayel.
4-19-1982. Syrian agents bomb the American Embassy in Beirut; killing and injuring more innocent citizens.
4-20-1983. Media and world newspapers from Egypt, Jordan, United States and Israel reveal that the Islamic brotherhood group who claimed responsibility for the bomb attack on the US Embassy in Beirut is nothing but a cover up for the Syrian secret service.
9-2-1983. Palestinian forces led by Syria with special Syrian units launch a massive attack against the Souk Al-Karab town in an attempt to take over the Presidential Palace in Baabda district. The attack was courageously foiled by the Lebanese Army
9-6-1983. The Lebanese government officially complains to the United States and the European government that Syrian and Palestinian troops have attempted to overthrow the Lebanese government and take control over the country.
9-8-1983. Syria declares publicly that it will be willing to help its allies overthrow the Lebanese government.
9-8-1983. US spokesman Mr. Allen Ronburg, in a press release, makes it clear that the US holds Syria and its troops fully responsible for the escalating situation in Lebanon; accusing Damascus of supplying its' allied Militias fighting against the Lebanese government with all kinds of weapons.
9-9-1985. High-level French official declares that Damascus is attempting in every way possible to disrupt all positive efforts by the Lebanese to negotiate among themselves. He also holds Syria accountable for the bombing of the French Embassy from positions occupied by Syrian forces.
12-27-1985. Syria tries implementing the tripartite agreement, but a revolt from East Beirut killed the attempt on the spot. This attempt failed to 'legitimize' Syria's control over the Lebanese autonomy where years later the Taef accord succeeded.
9-18-1986. Hussein Mustafa Teliase who currently lives in Syria on a street called Hayh Abou Remaneh, killed the special French communiqué at the French Embassy using a special silencer gun outside the Embassy premises.
10-7-1986. Syrian agents gun down the vice president of the Islamic center in Lebanon, Sheik Subhi Alsaleh, in broad daylight.
11-22-1986. Syrian army units kidnaps hundreds of Lebanese from the city of Tripoli and tens of them were found dead in different alleys and streets around Tripoli.
11-31-1986. Syrian army carries out executions of 34 Lebanese civilians accusing them, without any trial or proof, of defying the Syrian occupation in Lebanon.
8-2-1987. Syrian agents gun down President Amin Gemayel's special advisor, Doctor Muhammad Shoukeir, inside his home in West Beirut.
3-14-1989. Syrians, equipped with heavy artillery of 240 ml and 160 ml, shell the hills of Armoune in east and West Beirut; especially hitting hard the UNESCO: killing tens of innocent civilians. Aided by the Syrian navy and missile launchers, and in collaboration with Israel, Syria closed in on East Beirut: the area under the true Lebanese autonomy.
5-9-1989. Syrian agents assassinate Mufti Hassan Khalid because he informed Kuwaiti's Ambassador that the Syrian artillery from its positions at the hills of Aramoun were responsible for shelling east and West Beirut; causing the massacre of UNESCO.
11-22-1989. Syrian agents assassinate President-elect Rene Mouawad for his disagreements and refusal to obey the Syrian authority.
8-1-1990. Syria and its allies surround the area loyal to the Lebanese autonomy in an attempt to overthrow the legitimate transitional government of General Aoun.
10-12-1990. Syrian agent Francois Halal, following a plan supervised by the Secretary General of the Baath party in Lebanon, Abdallah Alamin, attempts to assassinate General Michel Aoun at the Baabda Presidential Palace.
10-13-1990. Syrian forces, with fierce air and land support, advanced through East Beirut; which was controlled by the Lebanese army. Lebanese army units and civilians resisted in every way possible, but to no avail. Syria crushed the resistance; proceeding on a killing spree of more than 400 innocent civilians execution style in the area of Daher Elwahish, Souk Elkharab, Bessouse, Hadath and Biet Meri. Syria arrested hundreds of Lebanese army officers and soldiers, as well as civilians and transferred them all to Syrian jails where they remain captive even today. Aside from all the killing and arrests, the Syrian army penetrated the Defense Ministry offices and stole all the equipment that they could get their hands on: computers, desks, maps, archives, historic and strategic documents belonging to Lebanon and moved everything to Syria, aided willingly by General Lahoud, who currently is Lebanon's-Syrian appointed President.
Long Live Freedom