Friday, October 28, 2005

The much anticipated Mehlis report held few surprises for anyone who is familiar
with the inner workings of Lebanese/Syrian politics. The report basically states what all Lebanese already know; Syria and it’s Lebanese toadies have the blood of the February 22nd martyrs on their hands.

Lebanon’s history is bloody and since February 14, 2005, it has become even bloodier. That black day in Lebanon’s history set off a chain of events that have been both elating and heart-rending to watch. Elating because the Lebanese have finally thrown off the shackles of Syrian terror and occupation; heart-rending because we as a country have paid such a high price in blood for our freedom. 22 people lost their lives on that day and more have been lost and maimed since then. As a people, the Lebanese are collectively asking how much more we are going to be forced to endure before we finally have some peace, freedom and stability. How many more people are we going to have to sacrifice before we can live like normal people?

The Mehlis report proved what we had suspected from the beginning and the report put names to the culprits. The first version of the report was leaked with the names of all those involved except one (this reporter has a copy). The names involved read like a who’s who of Lebanese intrigues. Sheikh Abdul Al, Mahmoud Abdul Al, Jamil El Sayyed, Mustafa Hamdan, Raymond Azar, Nassir Kandil, you think of the name, and it is likely in there. On the Syrian front, we have Maher Al Assad, Assef Shawkat, Bahjat Suleyman, and Bashar Al Assad himself.

Interestingly enough, paragraph 95 details a conversation between the hated Rustom Ghazaleh and a Mr. X. That is the only name not revealed in the report and speculation is running rampant that it is Syrian toady President Emile Lahoud. There is of course no proof of this but who else could possibly be so important in the Lebanese hierarchy that the name is kept secret. After all, if it could be proven that Lahoud is Mr. X, no Lebanese in or out of Lebanon would tolerate him breathing let alone in Baabda Palace as President of the country he has betrayed at every turn.

The report breaks down in black and white who was involved and how. The sheer scope of the crime, the planning, the explosives, the cover-up, the culprits are all laid out in stark detail. The magnitude of the planning involved shows a cold, calculated method of ridding Syria and her minions of a thorn in their collective side. This was obviously no crime of passion but premeditated murder.

In Paragraph 28 a taped conversation between Walid Mouallem and Former PM Hariri is detailed. In it, Hariri says “But Lebanon will never be ruled from Syria. This will no longer happen.” and then in paragraph 29, Mouallem warns Hariri by saying “we and the [security] services here have put you into a corner…please do not take things lightly.” This is an obvious warning. What is even more obvious is the fact that Hariri knew he was in danger. Transcript after transcript of witness statements detail the threats made by Syria against him and others. They also detail the demeanour of the Hariri after meetings with Syrian officials. The glaring duplicity of the Syrian witness statements tried to turn the investigation into a game of he said-she said and failed. From the beginning, Syria and her toadies attempted to block the investigation from any outside bodies, confident perhaps that if they kept the investigation within, they could easily cover up the crime. When that failed, they attempted to hinder the investigation at every turn.

No Syrian witness turned up for an interview without someone from the government showing up with him. Since that is not the most highly conductive manner to have an interview, those interviews are essentially worthless. Syria would not allow a single person to be interviewed outside of Syria or Lebanon. That alone should convict them but it doesn’t. What does however provide concrete proof of their perfidy is the fact that every single letter delivered to the UN investigation team contained out and out lies. This was not a country that was co-operating in any way, shape or form.

In fact, later eye-witness statements disproved many of the statements laid out in writing by Rustom Ghazaleh and others. What we do know is that Syria and her Lebanese lapdogs have their hands in this very bloody pie. What we don’t know is if all of the people who have died or been injured will have any sense of justice.

Paragraph 96 & 97 of the report detail who planned what with paragraph 97 saying “…the officer told the witness that there would soon be an “earthquake” that would rewrite the history of Lebanon”. That officer was right but not in the way he thought that he would be. That “earthquake” awoke the Lebanese collective conscious from slumber the world over. It brought us back to life with a vengeance. No more would we be sleeping, no more would we tolerate Syrian interference in our affairs. We had had enough. No more living in fear for us, we took to the streets to demand our rights and we won them. Lebanon is pseudo-free from Syria but we have a long way to go.

Currently, the U.N. is well on the way to deciding whether or not to impose sanctions against our Syrian tormentors. In the face of all they have seen and heard, the Arab League and most especially Egypt are arguing against sanctions. Are we to be betrayed again as we were in the war, as we have been so many times by the supposedly brotherly nations? By what right do the Arab League and specifically Egypt stand up and say no to sanctions? Is the blood of our slain men and women to go in vain? Are our martyrs never to have what we all long for? We want, we need, we deserve: JUSTICE!


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