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A Plan for the Lebanese-Syrian Border By: Elias Bejjani
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, January 19, 2007


The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs:

Your upcoming official visit to Lebanon this January 19 is certainly an undeniable evidence of your government’s concern and seriousness in helping to ensure appropriate conditions and a favorable environment for comprehensive, fair and sustainable solutions for the Middle East crisis in general and the Lebanese problem in particular. This effective and serious policy was adopted by your government from day one of its assuming the reins of power in Canada.

The ethical, value-based, legal, transparent, public and effective commitment by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to combat terrorism by all means possible and available, wherever it exists and under all its forms – states, organizations, institutions and individuals – has undoubtedly returned Canada to its natural active role on the international scene in general and the Middle East in particular, after long years of absence and irrelevance.

On behalf of the members of the Lebanese Canadian community who share our cultural values and our vision of peace, democracy and human rights in Lebanon as it is in Canada, the Lebanese Canadian Coordinating Council (LCCC) extends its gratitude for your support to the sovereignty, independence and freedom of Lebanon, and wishes to bring the following to your attention:

The issue of the legitimate security control of the Lebanese-Syrian borders is of extreme importance to enable the Lebanese State to exert its authority over all the national territory. Consequently, the delineation of these borders with the effective assistance of the international community, as well as their control to prevent weapons smuggling and armed infiltration from Syria into Lebanon, as required by UN resolution 1701 which the Canadian government endorsed, are all essential and pivotal tasks that must be focused on by the international community and the Security Council. Lebanon will never know peace, security or stability without the control of these borders by international forces equipped with all the necessary equipment to execute the mission, provided they are given the international mandate to do so with a resolution issued under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. Unfortunately, the deployment of international, European or other observers along the Syrian-Lebanese border without the presence of peace-imposing military forces will not lead to the desired outcome, as the past has amply demonstrated. In contrast, the end to the conflict in the Balkans or in East Timor was made possible only through a concerted military deterrence imposed by the international community.

The current confrontation in Lebanon, which is merely a coup dissimulated behind a sit-in that began last December 1st, are truly a confrontation between the forces of good on one hand, and the forces of evil’s worldwide axis on the other. The latter consists of Syria and Iran, represented in Lebanon by the fundamentalist and sectarian Hezbollah, with its funding, arming, ideological training and purpose, and ultimate leadership and decision-making residing in Iran, partnered with marginal groups, individuals and parties that are alienated from their own communities and who take their marching orders from Iran and the Syrian Baath regime. In contrast, the forces of good are embodied by the vast majority of the Lebanese people and civil society, Christian, Moslems and Druze, who are endorsed, even if not vocally because of fear and terror, by individuals, groups, members of the clergy, politicians and intellectuals of the Lebanese Shiite community whose regions are dominated by Hezbollah through military force, all manner of repression and terror, as well as generous funding from Iran. Therein lays the supportive role that the countries of the Free World and their civil societies, led by Canada, could play through their representation on the Security Council and with the instruments of its resolutions.

The main and ultimate objective which Hezbollah is aiming to achieve through its sit-ins, again completely funded by Iran, is to topple the Lebanese government and, subsequently, the regime by dealing a blow to the country’s institutions with global chaos and lack of security. It is noteworthy that Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah recently declared that his party is acting to starve two million Lebanese, then instead of giving them bread, it will give them swords with which to cut off the heads of the politicians and rulers, and thus launch a revolution against the Lebanese regime to bring it down and replace it with a sectarian regime mirrored on the Mullah regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

As for the immediate objectives of Hezbollah’s sit-ins and coup attempts, they are to, first, scuttle the implementation of international resolutions – foremost of which are resolutions 1559 and 1701, whose provisions call for the disarming of Hezbollah and restricting all weapons into the hands of the legitimate armed forces of the Lebanese State; second, to target the establishment of the International Tribunal mandated with prosecuting the perpetrators of the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and all subsequent assassinations, by voiding the resolution behind the Tribunal and obstructing the process leading to it until it becomes impossible to carry out the prosecutions of those who planned those crimes, led by senior Lebanese and Syrian officials and which may include the Hezbollah leadership itself, as was recently revealed by the Lebanese MP and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.

We consider that the rise of a strong Lebanese State requires the immediate action of placing resolution 1701 under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. This will enable the UN forces to assist the Lebanese authorities in carrying out the task of collecting all unlawful and illegitimate weapons from the national territory, control the border with Syria as well as Lebanon’s marine borders, and most importantly, deny Hezbollah and the other militias under Iran’s and Syria’s orders the capability to trigger wars with Israel from across the Israeli-Lebanese border.

We recommend that you pay a visit to His Eminence the Maronite Catholic Patriarch Mar Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir at his See in Bkerki, in his capacity not only as the effective leader of the vast majority of Lebanon’s Maronite Catholics and Christians and the embodiment of their aspirations and hopes, but also as the spiritual religious reference that today enjoys the support of the majority of Moslem leadership and community at large, because of His Eminence’s patriotism, neutrality and clear vision with respect to the much needed solutions to the present troubled situation.

We hope that you will deal with the leaders of those Lebanese parties and groups, who have become tools in the hands of Hezbollah, Syria and Iran for personal and opportunistic objectives that conflict with the interests of Lebanon and the Lebanese, exactly as you would deal during your visit with the leaders and officials of Hezbollah, which is classified as a terrorist organization in Canada. It is very critical that your meetings in Lebanon not lend themselves to erroneous interpretations of the positions of your government that stand clearly against any form of terrorism, not only for the Lebanese in Lebanon but also for the Lebanese Canadian community here in Canada. Should you officially meet with those trying to stage a coup against the State by suspect sit-ins, as they operate under the umbrella of Hezbollah, incite against the State and its institutions, and act to scuttle the implementation of international resolutions and the return of freedoms and democracy, we sincerely ask that you communicate to them the clear and official position of Canada and let that position be clearly enunciated in the statements that follow those meetings.

Finally, we wish you a successful trip and a safe return. We reiterate our support and our endorsement to your government and to its policies vis-à-vis Lebanon, the Middle East and the War on Terrorism.

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


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