The forgotten country -- LebanonPosted by Ed Davis, DPM on 4/14/03 at 20:19 (116139)
An Open Letter to President Bush
Nagi N. Najar
13 April 2003 Email this story
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Dear President Bush,
We at the Lebanese Foundation for Peace congratulate you on your courageous, timely initiative to challenge terrorism worldwide and your efficient way of achieving your goal. We also present our condolences to the families of the U.S. soldiers that have fallen in the line of duty. These soldiers have fallen under the brutality of Saddam Hussein and are in Iraq not to occupy Iraq, but to liberate it, and in addition to safeguard the security of the United States.
To understand the background of September 11, it is important to understand this war. The U.S. public must understand that the security of the United States is derived from the security of every regime in the Middle East, including the special role of Saudi Arabia, who in the past quietly supported the role of terrorist sponsoring states (Syria) in Washington, whose actions emboldened many terror organizations in their fights against the U.S. Let us not forget that the attacks of 9/11 were initially claimed from Damascus by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which later retracted its communique, after the caliber of the damage became known. The responsibility was later assumed by Osama bin Laden.
The public should accept that this war is necessary for the survival of the West against an arrogant and out of control Muslim Middle East, which is blackmailing the West through terror attacks - from the Beirut bombings, to the Saudi Arabia bombings, to the Africa bombings, to the U.S.S. Cole bombing, all culminating on 9/11.
It is imperative for the public to know that this war is not necessarily and solely directed to free the Iraqi people as much as it is to secure the national interests of the United States and the rest of the Free World, for America has been put under siege, not only by Osama Bin Laden, but by all those rogue regimes that provide logistical ground support for ubiquitous terror organizations.
While Europe has failed to honor its moral commitments to America - forgetting that the U.S. liberated Europe, mainly France, from the humiliation of Nazism during WWII - the US and Britain should know that they are not alone in the Arab world. While Saudi Arabia is reluctant to support the US openly, Kuwait has fulfilled its obligation to support a new order in the Arab world, along with other Arab Gulf states.
The main obstacles to regional peace, however, remain Iran, Iraq, and Syria, all of whom practice the culture of state terrorism in the Middle East and against U.S. interests and the world.
Let us not forget that it is Syria who drove the U.S. influence out of the Middle East. Syria pressured Lebanon to abrogate the pro-American May 17th agreements to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1982, by assassinating Lebanese president-elect Bashir Gemayel, by organizing later, with the complicity of Hezbollah, the bombing of the U.S. Marine´s barracks in Beirut, by periodic hostage-taking that humiliated America for a decade before America gave in to the blackmail of the late Hafez Assad, by offering Lebanon to the Syrian occupation. What did the U.S. gain after two decades of Syrian military occupation of Lebanon? More terrorism, more blackmail by terrorist organizations and a self-serving Syrian vote for U.N. resolution 1441, which was designed to help Syria, yet with Syria actually supporting the Iraq of Saddam Hussein.
Where does Syria stand in this conflict? Besides the regime of Damascus providing shelter to most terrorist organizations, Syria is providing efficient support to the former Iraqi leaders, and preventing U.S. influence from progressing toward a solution for the Middle East:
- Syria is providing a hideout for Iraqi WMDs, and chemical and bacteriological arms and laboratories, transferred quitely to secret locations in the Syrian desert a few months before the U.S. attack on Iraq;
- Syria supported and transferred suicide bombers from Syria to Iraq;
- Syria transferred Hezbollah terrorists from Lebanon to Iraq, with Iranian consent;
- Lebanese Foundation for Peace sources, close to Syrian Intelligence, report the following:
The Iraqis have moved almost 120 military planes out of Iraq to Syria during the last few months incrementally. The planes were described as MIG 29, MIG 25, Mirage and Sukhoi. These Iraqi planes have been moved to Syria to the following locations: a) Five Syrian military airports next to the Iraq-Syrian border; b) Two Syrian military airports next to the Turkish-Syrian border; and c) Two Syrian military airports in the Damascus suburbs, where ten to 15 planes are hidden. The leak came as the planes were hidden along with their pilots, yet this time, unlike the situation of Iran in the first Gulf war, the pilots intended to interfere in the battle if it became a generalized conflict;
- Our intelligence sources report that the families of the ruling Iraqi elite have been transferred secretly to Damascus and other parts of Syria, into private and safe apartments under the protection of Syrian Intelligence agents. Some of these families were distributed in the upscale neighborhood of Mazzeh and Abou Remmaneh, where most of the intelligence buildings and military barracks are located. Unconfirmed reports also say that Saddam Hussein has recently been transferred to a secret location in Syria, where he is directing military operations with his lieutenants from an established safe house. These locations are also protected by the Syrian Baath Party, a clone of the Iraqi Baath Party in ideology and committment;
- Along with the support of the Syrian regime for Hussein's Iraq, Syria continues its reign of terror in Lebanon, targeting and intimidating the minority Christian population. A few months ago, some Christian workers were slain in a university in Beirut. This foreshadowed yet another a pogrom of the Christian community in Lebanon. A few weeks later, a Christian activist, Ramzi Irani of the Lebanese Forces, was kidnapped and murdered in Beirut. Later on, a Christian judge was shot in his courtroom in Beirut; it was later said that it was an 'isolated incident.' Additionally, a Christian soldier was shot within the barracks of the Lebanese army by a fellow Islamic soldier with a pro-bin Laden orientation. This was a signal to the Christian officers to intimidate them not to ' collaborate' with the West nor help the U.S. Syria claims these frictions are separate 'fundamentalist' incidents, but these things don´t happen in Beirut without the consent, preparation, and endorsement of Syrian intelligence, which controls and manipulates every incident on the ground. This is intended to warn the Christian community not to cooperate with the United States in the fight against terror. The Patriarch in Lebanon then switched his course and cancelled his itinerary, which included the United States, for fear of negative reactions directed against the Christian population. The criminals in power in Lebanon should understand that they will not escape unpunished for their brutal practices.
The Syrians have sent many messages in the past, in many ways, threatening the existence of the U.S.-based Free Lebanon website if we do not halt our support of the United States, the war against terrorism, and a free Lebanon. All of us are American citizens, cherishing the democracy and commensurate freedoms that all Americans enjoy. Since we are here in the United States, the Syrians could not resort to attacking us in the brutal ways they are accustomed to in their own country and in their fiefdom of Lebanon. Their debased, immoral alternative was to have Syrian intelligence in Lebanon attempt to silence the contribution of The Lebanese Foundation for Peace´s political voice, a staunchly pro-American voice; their choice was burning the residence of an old lady in Lebanon – that old lady is my mother – in order to intimidate and halt our pro-American stance here in the U.S.
Having the courage to say the truth and oppose the practices of terrorism against the U.S., applied by the Syrians and their proxies in the Lebanese government, became especially hurtful to the writer of this article, as the innocent object of their hate was my mother. The police reported that the fire set to her apartment was arson and it completely destroyed her quarters and her possessions going back to her childhood. Not a single line on the incident was reported in the local press. The reason is obvious.
My message to these government thugs is that I know who they are, and where they stand and behind whom they hide today. They hide behind the power of the Syrian military occupation of Lebanon, who practice all forms of intimidation and terrorism against all who support the U.S. peace initiative in the Middle East .
From 1982, their initiatives of terror have not changed. Their list of victims has unfortunately increased in length daily. I tell them their day is coming and justice is not far. It is imperative for them to understand they will stand trial as criminals, for promoting terrorism and subversion, past and present, under the justice of the new Free Lebanon that will emerge soon. The various crimes they have committed against innocent Lebanese, Lebanon and the United States, are all recorded and their days are numbered.
To win the fight against Iraq involves the change of the terror equation in Syria and Lebanon, currently operating freely against the free world, including the United States.
At a time when we are mourning with the families in the U.S., who are paying the price of freedom, burying their children, we ask the United States government to help us take legal action in a U.S. court, with the support of the U.S. Congress, against Syrian officers in Lebanon practicing, inciting and masterminding terrorism, along with Lebanese officials who are blackmailing and legalizing Syria's illegal practices against the families of American citizens in Lebanon and U.S. interests.
I urge you to support our government-in-exile's return to Beirut, to restore a friendly pro-American democracy in Lebanon. We are ready, from exile, to challenge terrorism in Lebanon and to challenge the Lebanese government, with the backing of the U.S., in order to deliver Iranian-Syrian-sponsored terrorism and the Hezbollah to the graveyard of history. This blackmail of terror cannot continue. For the safety of humanity, these criminal organizations should be put to an end.
This government in Lebanon represents the murderers of Bashir Gemayel and the criminal terrorists behind the murder of 243 marines in Beirut in 1983. It also represents many drug traffickers from the Bekaa valley, placed in power by Syria, who supply drugs from occupied Lebanon to the United States.
We will purge this Syrian-Iranian-supported government in Lebanon of the terrorists currently in power Many officials will face charges. I feel confident that we will all succeed in establishing a new Middle East that functions on the basis of economy and prosperity, rather than terror.
The challenge of facing the enemies of the United States includes installing friendly regimes in the Middle East as part of a global strategy that strengthens Middle East peace. Part of the responsibility those regimes will have is the duty to enforce security for the West, including the U.S. The new regimes will constrain terror in their own countries and prevent fundamentalists from taking over the moderates in the rogue states. Lebanon is an important factor in winning this war and helping a new Syria emerge from under the thumb of a weak Bashar Assad, manipulated by Saddam Hussein and a fundamentalist Iran.
Iraq is the beginning of the end of this puzzle of terror, Syria and Lebanon should be addressed next.
The US soldiers are not dying for nothing in the Middle East. We all stand united with them in their courage, sacrifice and bravery - so that, with peace and justice, all of us can prevail.
Nagi N. Najar is the Executive Director of the Lebanese Foundation for Peace.
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Re: The forgotten country -- LebanonSharon W on 4/15/03 at 14:51 (116205)
An interesting letter. Thanks for sharing it.
Re: The forgotten country -- LebanonLeon S. on 4/18/03 at 16:40 (116547)
For a great insight into the politics of the region, I strongly recommend Thomas Friedman's book 'From Beirut to Jerusalem'