Adonis Diaries

What Mortal Sins Did the Syrian Regime Commit?

Posted on: October 24, 2008

What Mortal Sins Did the Syrian Regime Commit? (March 9, 2005)

At this phase of the struggle, the million and some citizens who gathered in Riad Solh Square to thank Syria for the peace and stability that Lebanon enjoyed for 15 years are no different than the thousands who demonstrated for weeks in the Martyrs’ Square demanding freedom, self determination and independence from Syria.  They all waved the Lebanese Flag! Syria should have gotten the clear message all the way but it seems that a one party regime is not flexible or trained enough to recognize the deep feelings that the Lebanese are expressing.

Apparently, the Syrian regime is pressured into such a tight corner that it is happy to hold on rhetoric at the tip of the iceberg and fool itself into going back to doing business as usual.  Not only President Lahoud is rejecting the opposition demands for the resignation of the heads of all security and intelligence services but he is trying to mindlessly force a prime minister into our throats who resigned under the pressure of the people.  If the opposition is not willing to desist on its demands and throw away its legitimate victory by the people, why would the President commit the worst sin a serious politician shouldn’t attempt to do? 

Does the President want to sacrifice himself for Lebanon by being ejected in a grand way in order for Lebanon to demonstrate its self determination by acting in a grand way as a proof of its legitimate and rightful stubbornness?  If the President declares his recognition of the dangerous path he is taking then Lebanon would thank him immeasurably and anoint him as the most heroic and patriotic president so far. Unfortunately, I lean toward the notion that the President is taking a petty stand that would inevitably destroy whatever achievement he might have claimed.

Across the border there is a one party regime that has been enslaving 17 million people for over 50 years under slight variations. Such a dinosaur is not expected to change behavior in a peaceful process.  The damaging mistake the Syrian regime committed is to try governing a people across the other border that experienced extreme freedom, an understanding of freedom that goes as far as committing the worst crimes and slaughters in the name of the freedom to kill a fellow citizen on the basis of his identity card for sectarian reasons.  Please, don’t give me any slacks and try offering lame excuses that the 200 thousands Lebanese were killed by foreign elements during our civil war!

Instead of acting vigorously to implement all the articles in the Taef agreement the Syrian regime was sitting comfortably in Lebanon and waiting for the USA to remove its cover over its tutelage in Lebanon before reacting accordingly.  Obviously, a democratic state that value human rights and freedom of expression would have come to reason long before the international community reminds it to its responsibilities.  There are no doubt that dozen of humongous rodents in Lebanon and Syria, current opposition leaders and allies to Syria, in tandem and forming efficient and ruthless mafias were happily nibbling viciously at our public funds.  There is no doubt that these easy and uncontrolled machinations for grand thefts were a major factor for this lengthy stay in Lebanon and our humiliating situation. The old guards of the one party regime got lost in our Ali Baba cave and didn’t listen to storms and changing political climate forming outside. Yes, the Lebanese citizens paid twice for every service they difficultly received: we paid twice for electricity, for water and for communication facilities.


We overpaid for everything we purchased that was controlled by the government. Lebanon is the costliest country, not only among the surrounding Arab States but in the world.  All the 45 billion dollar debt that financial institutions were glad to lend our governments would require more than two generation wiping out.  What did Lebanon receive in return for a dept that would have reconstructed Germany after the war? 

A Downtown paid for by the Lebanese themselves and who cannot use it anyhow but to stroll in its street:  no working Lebanese can purchase anything from our high class Downtown shops, rent a small apartment or even park his car. What about the ten billion dollars invested on the electrical facilities with generators that keep shutting down and fueled by the wrong intended fuel and that keep us in the dark for days forcing us to rely on local providers? What about top of the line hospitals waiting for years to be staffed because the rodents have not yet agree among themselves for the rightful share in the deal? What about the Lebanese University, facilities and manpower, still not fully operational that has been losing ground to 30 private universities most of them not properly certified to operate?  What about our fixed telephone lines that most of us cannot afford to connect to?  What about our cellular communication services that is twice as expensive as the costliest in the world? What about the 5 billion dollars spent on relocating the Lebanese families into their original towns, a sum that could have relocated Taiwan into China, and still they did not care to return?  What about the billion allocated to the Southern villages after the withdrawal of Israel in the year 2000 and all we can see are the released Lebanese prisoners from the Israeli jails still demonstrating to get any relief?

Yes, Syria was allowed to rebuild the old Lebanese army and secure peace in Lebanon for 15 years; the million thanks are appropriate in this case.  Yes, the weakling Lebanon was demanding too much and too soon from a crippled regime barely able to reconcile with itself and its future.  Yes, Syria was all the time afraid from waves of liberty and freedom of expression to cross its insulated population but it should have tried to experience something that would have done it a great deal of good.

We should banish hatred for the kind and patient Syrian people and learn to shunt chauvinism, an inkling we are prone to do and our institutions are a million light year away to attack this behavior of ours.  The Syrian workers have demonstrated that they are the hardest and most diligent workers.  Lebanon was mostly rebuilt by the Syrian work force.  A million thanks for our brothers, friends and best allies in Syria.

It is time that our slogans for freedom, self determination and independence become more specific of what these notions means to us before the Syrian troops redeploy behind our borders.  The Syrians are withdrawing their troops and will complete this task shortly.  The demonstrators should start naming names of these fat rodents, demand their detention, putting them to trial, punished seriously and the money returned to the Lebanese citizens.  The demonstrators should use their gatherings to discuss seriously what Lebanon they dream about and what their expectations are.

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October 2008

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