Many of us find it strange that the dazzling, open-minded Lebanese people would constantly lose their ability to respect freedom and awareness, as many of them have become loyal for a regime that is killing its people without mercy.
In the best case scenario, those who used to “sell” speeches, are now “hiring” the silence, as they have never done before. There is a wave of a Lebanese Alzheimer, caused by history or fear. It does not matter at this point.
The past’s memory contains a lot of facts about the al-Assad’s crimes against Lebanon, its people and its security. The Baathist regime has never recognized the sovereignty of this country, nor its identity or existence. It has killed and displaced countless Lebanese persons. The list of the Syrian regime's crimes is long and terrifying.
Syria has invaded Lebanon in the seventh decade of the last century, under colossal patriotic and nationalistic slogans -- as they have been portrayed -- and for Syria's temporary and strategic causes under the watchful eyes of the world and its powers.
“Throughout history, Syria and Lebanon were, and still are, one country and one people. This fact must be grasped by everybody,” said the late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad in 1976, justifying the invasion of his forces to Lebanon!
In 1995, Gideon Rafael, who was Israel's ambassador to Great Britain at the time, said: “King Hussein promised in the name of Syrian president Hafez al-Assad that the Syrian army will not deploy in southern Lebanon, that it will not come close to the borders of Israel and that it will work to control the various armed Palestinian factions which might be planning to mount attacks against northern Israel.”
Raphael added: “the Syrian President promised the Israeli Prime Minister that the Syrian operation will only be targeting the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and that Syria will withdraw as soon as the calm is restored.” But of course, after all that, the resistance lie is still promoting the contrary!
Moreover, Syrian troops and intelligence services constantly stormed into the offices of “al-Moharrer”, “Beirut” and “ad-Dustour” newspapers and took out the editors and workers, assaulted some of them and occupied the offices and printing houses. They broke into “as-Safir” newspaper offices and occupied “an-Nahar” offices.
Major General Naji Jamil, the Syrian Deputy Defense Minister, justified the occupation of the Lebanese newspapers offices saying that these newspapers “were promoting hostile Zionist propaganda!”
But the truth is that, since the occupation and the abuse of the press, the Syrian regime is still capable, in varying degrees, to direct and silence this media through threats. The regime was already involved in the assassination of prominent media figures in cold blood, specifically those voices that have been looking for the independence and freedom of the press in their country!
For more than 4 decades, Syria has been the de facto ruler of Lebanon, by force, threat and murder. Al-Assad regime was responsible for the killing of a long list of Lebanese political figures The late Rafik Hariri paid with his life the price of searching for the independence of Lebanon's decisions.
Today, the scene in Lebanon and the probable explosive situation between supporters and allies of Bashar’s regime and those who support the Syrian citizens' revolution seems to resemble the scene of what is actually happening inside Syria. The absent element here -- as usual -- is the Lebanese state. This is why the parties and powerful armed families are taking in charge the missions of al-Assad's militia to silence or detonate Lebanon again.
(The writer is head of media at Al Arabiya)