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A Terror-Free Lebanon By: Elias Bejjani
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council offers its heartfelt and sincere condolences to all the Lebanese families in Lebanon and in the Diaspora who have lost beloved family members and friends in the devastating Hezbollah-Israeli war. We shall pray for the quick recovery of the wounded and for the safe and dignified return of all the displaced persons.

We hold the fundamentalist and terrorist Hezbollah group fully responsible for deliberately instigating this criminal war through a reckless unilateral decision. We demand that the group's leadership at all levels, as well as their sponsors, the Syrian and Iranian regimes, be held accountable for losses in all domains and be prosecuted for the horrible atrocities they committed against Lebanon and the Lebanese people

LCCC welcomes UN Resolution 1701, which demonstrates genuine support for Lebanon's existence, and the reclaiming of its confiscated independence, trampled freedoms, and hijacked decision-making process by Hezbollah.

We would have preferred to see the resolution passed under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter to ensure an effective implementation procedure and a military deterrence in the face of potential obstacles from Hezbollah, Iran and Syria.

For a successful implementation of Resolution 1701 and in a bid to end Lebanon's decades-long ordeal, we draw attention to the following facts and proposals:

1- The Lebanese government is fatally infiltrated by Hezbollah, the Amal Movement (headed by House Speaker, Mr. N. Berri) and president Emile Lahoud's ministers. Accordingly, the government is powerless despite the good intentions of its prime minister and most of the ministers. Hezbollah's two ministers should be fired and replaced by moderate Shiite representatives. The cabinet's initial ministerial statement must be amended to remove the clauses that legitimize the Hezbollah military and the so-called resistance role. The ministerial statement should include a clause that clearly delineates its commitment to a full implementation of UN Resolutions 1559 and 1680, as well pertinent clauses from both the Taef Accord (1989) and the Armistice agreement with Israel (1949).

2- The immediate initiation of a judicial investigation by a special commission designated to look into the conduct of all individuals and countries responsible for instigating the war with Israel and leading Lebanon to destruction.  The commission must also investigate the criminal role of all individuals, parties and countries involved in financing, arming and sponsoring Hezbollah, as well as those who directly or indirectly encouraged and protected this fundamentalist group, hindered its disarmament, and led to its blatant infringements on Lebanon's constitution, the spirit of shared living and all pertinent UN Resolutions.

3- The immediate and complete disarmament of Hezbollah, and the spreading of the state's sovereignty, law and order over all Lebanon's territories – including Hezbollah's three mini-cantons erected in the South, in Baalbek and in the southern suburbs of Beirut.

4- Shutting down Hezbollah's jails and detention centers, as well as its schools and other institutions that teach hatred, fanaticism and the rejection of others, and which promote the Iranian Mullah’s regime.

5- The freezing of all Hezbollah's accounts and assets, and the creation of a special fund that will be used in the compensation process once the prosecution of the group's leadership is completed.

6- Taking all necessary measures to abort attempts to integrate Hezbollah's armed men into the country's military institution.

7- An end to the glorification and appeasement of Hezbollah by the media and the political establishment acting as Dhimmis with regard to Hezbollah's Zero liberation and defense accomplishments.

All records must be set straight:

Hezbollah did not liberate South Lebanon in May 2000. The Israeli withdrawal was based on mere domestic calculations. Similarly, this recent war has destroyed Lebanon, liberated nothing, and is not a victory for Hezbollah.

Hezbollah's weapons are not intended for liberation objectives. No Lebanese land remains occupied. The Shebaa Farms are Syrian in the eyes of the UN unless proven otherwise by Lebanon and Syria though a well-defined process. Hezbollah's weapons are a means to replicate the Iranian Mullah’s regime in Lebanon when the time is right.

Hezbollah, Iran and Syria do not care about the so-called "strategy of defense". Hezbollah's leaders are hiding behind this patriotic tag in a bid to viciously obstruct all attempts that aim for their party's disarmament.

The fate of Hezbollah's weapons should not be tied to any non-Lebanese strife or UN Resolution, especially Resolution 194.

The argument that Hezbollah should not hand over its weapons to a weak state should be buried forever. Instead, efforts should be exerted to build a strong state and a strong army, and thereby achieve genuine national unity in Lebanon.

The argument that Lebanon should be the last Arab country to sign a peace deal with Israel must also be abandoned. Most of the Arab countries have already recognized Israel or have relations with it in varying degrees. Lebanon needs to act in accordance with its interests and the requirements of peace in the region, and not in accordance with Iran's or Syria's hostile and terrorist agenda.

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Elias Bejjani is a human rights activist, journalist and political commentator.

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