Colonel Charbel Barakat is a retired Lebanese Army officer who had a vast first hand experience, education and knowledge on fundamentalism, terrorism and terrorists. He is a prominent author, writer, political commentator, expert on terrorism and human rights activist. In a recent political analysis he addressed in depth the latest Hezbollah coup d'état in Lebanon and dwelled extensively on its predisposing and precipitating factors. Our Lebanese Canadian Coordinating Council (LCCC) Media Department translated the analysis from its original Arabic version, and I would like to share it with you./Please consider for publication
Elias Bejjani/Lebanese Canadian coordinating Council (LCCC) Chairman
He who sows the wind shall reap the whirlwind
By: Colonel Charbel Barakat
"It was a forlorn day when the Lebanese agreed, albeit under duress, to the 'Taef Accord". It necessitated dismantling and disarming the militias in 1990. Syria, which at the time was occupying Lebanon, kept and retained Hezbollah, the one terrorizing Lebanon today, as the sole armed militia under the slogan of "fighting Israel".
Syria set out and helped, in conjunction with Iran, to build a State inside a State, whereby the terrorist group, Hezbollah was founded and fostered in its fundamentalism to become a blight on Lebanon's national landscape.
Some short-sighted Lebanese, especially inexperienced rookie politicians, believed Syria's claim that Hezbollah militia would fight for Lebanon. This militia was always exclusively Shiite, connected to Iran in training, financing, armament, command and slogans. It was destined to be aloof of the Lebanese populace and determined to remain so.
Hezbollah never carried the Lebanese flag and has advocated since its beginning (1982) for an Islamic State a la Tehran. The majority of the smart Lebanese politicians failed to realize then that the beast they were raising would devour their children when its teeth are bared. Perhaps they misplaced their bet on time and good intentions, or perhaps on others.
The Syrian occupation imposed Hezbollah, this armed gang, which recognizes no-one, and none of the Lebanese values, it promoted it as a sacred hero, which it praised day and night. Inevitably, Hezbollah became intoxicated by the Syrian sycophancy to the point where it sees itself as the rightful ruler of Lebanon."
The tide then turned, first against the abandoned people of the South who defended Lebanon with their lives and youths so that it could remain a dignified, democratic and free country. They did not surrender it to the Israelis as the Syrians, the Iranians and some ignorant and shortsighted Lebanese politicians falsely allege. The Southern people accepted the Israeli help after they were abandoned by their state, and were honest and free allies with Israel for 25 years. More than 800 hundred of their patriotic martyrs paid the ultimate sacrifice and were dressed in, and buried under the Lebanese flag.
The Southern Children chanted no national anthem, but that of Lebanon. While the treacherous Hezbollah aggressor played its liberation propaganda in insult to the real heroes, the children of the land, the Lebanese southerners waited vainly for years on an empty promise made by Lebanese President Elias Hrawi (1990-1998), to reintegrate them in the state without bloodshed.
Then the Lebanese State was distracted by reconstruction, unconcerned with the Beast (Hezbollah) that was growing in the house while ignoring completely the plight of our Southern brethren, who were orphaned when their mother (the state) fled from the Palestinian gangs. The southerners were left unprotected while their mother, (the Lebanese State) fooled around with the Syrians and others, so they grew in the care of the Israeli neighbor, which she called "enemy".
Israeli PM Barak then decided to withdraw unconditionally from Lebanon, (in year 2000) as UN representative Terry Rod Larsen refused to hear the opinion of the southerners under pressure from the Syrians. No one accepted their offer to disarm their South Lebanon's Army (SLA) simultaneously with Hezbollah in order to resolve all the problems of the south once and for all. "A burden they have come to regret".
No one in Beirut was willing to admit that this offer was the last instrument in Lebanon's favor, because the hatred planted by the suicidal party (Hezbollah) blinded the hearts of many, who thought the humiliation of our Southern brothers at the hands of Iran and Syria was a benefit to them, so they praised the beast, and carried it on their shoulders.
They even requested that the free world countries decline from receiving the southern refugees in the aftermath of the Israeli military withdrawal from their region in the year 2000. These victims who are from all Lebanese religious denominations had no other safe place to flee to, except to Israel. The majority of them are still living in Israel while the Lebanese state tags them as collaborators and traitors.
Meanwhile hundreds of the SLA members and their family members who took the risk and stayed in Lebanon after the Israeli withdrawal, or afterwards returned from Israel to Lebanon, were charged with treason, imprisoned and stripped of their civil rights.
Destiny however triumphed over all, as those Lebanese politicians and parties who falsely deceived themselves and thought they have pacified the beast were devoured by it, starting by the leader that defended it all over the world (late PM. Rafik Hariri), and protected them from offenses, then they rewarded him by facilitating his assassination in 2005, then proceeded to burn his dream of rebuilding the country.
And now here we are today regretting his passing, and the passing of other fallen ones, despite their shortsightedness. The beast has devoured the father and now turned on the sons.
One may wonder, what could Lebanon do in the face of this bloody and savage war that Hezbollah is waging against one Lebanese territory after another, spilling our people's blood so that terror can establish its authority over our homeland?
How pitiful is a government that dares not support the Free world who prescribed the cure in the UNSCR 1559, in 2005, but instead volunteered to protect the beast in its cabinet statement and legitimize its terrorism and its state inside the state. And then failed to request international assistance to tame, disarm and contain Hezbollah after the destructive war it instigated against Israel in July 2006. It instead protected this beast and facilitated its big lie of the" Divine Victory" over Israel and chanted for this fatal deception.
One wonders what the solution is then. The answer is very simple. The Lebanese Government must recognize fully and seek the implementation of the UNSCR (1559 and 1701), and immediately officially request that the international body intervene militarily and by all other means to protect Lebanon and implement its resolutions.
The Lebanese Government must also put at the UN's disposal all its armed forces and services and coordinate with it to uproot this evil which has ravaged the life of civilians, burned neighborhoods, destroyed media outlets, and is indiscriminately spreading its hatred in all directions.
Will Lebanon's PM. Mr. Saniora make a move and request publicly the aid of the Free world for his cabinet and for Lebanon? Or does he still thing that he can conduct a civilized dialogue with Hezbollah and its sponsors, Iran and Syria while the Lebanese people are slaughtered and the Lebanese territories fall to this axis of evil one after the other?
It is a mockery of fate that Larsen has been put in charge of the UNSCR 1559 implementation; after all, he was the one that rejected Lebanon Southerner's and their SLA's (South Lebanon's Army) proposal of simultaneous disarmament with Hezbollah.
As it is an irony too that Barak the Israeli PM then, the defense minister now, surrendered the South Lebanon and its SLA to Hezbollah, which grew in power and attacked everyone. Will Larsen and Barak correct today, the fatal mistake they committed in the year 2000?
Will the Lebanese politicians and officials also correct their strategic mistake of calling Hezbollah a "liberator", and "resistance" group, this beast that retarded the Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon for 15 years, and is trying now to topple the country's legitimate government and control the whole country by force?
Meanwhile will the Lebanese politicians and parities deal with reality and once and forever abandon the rhetoric fight against the state of Israel, and start building their real state which provides security to its entire people and seeks peace with all its neighbors, and fights terror regardless of its direction or source?
Or will they all, again, bear false witness to the birth of a Hezbollah state over the totality of Lebanon's land, so that it spreads, not only as it did after the Israeli withdrawal of 2000, with a series of terrorist bombings in Israel, the Arab countries, and elsewhere that ultimately reached New York and European capitals, but to launch unconventional attacks this time, which will force the whole world to taste bitter and bloody experiences much more destructive than September 11, and what followed in Afghanistan or Iraq?
Lebanon will know no real stability until its leadership and politicians understand fully the meaning of peace, the value of nationhood, and the principle of cooperation.
When Lebanon thought that by adopting Hezbollah, it liberated its land and was surpassing the regions' strongest nations; it was lying to itself then and believing the lie. Lebanon was like the one that planted the wind, and ultimately reaped the storm.
**Translated from Arabic by the Lebanese Canadian Coordinating Council Media Department