Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The assassination of Lebanon's Pierre Amine Gemayel

The following unedited statement was just issued by my friend, Dr. Walid Phares, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist at World Defense Review:

"The terrorist assassination of Minister Pierre Gemayel in Beirut is another war crime against the democratically elected Government and Parliament of Lebanon, and another strike in the Terror War waged by the Syrian regime and its allies against the Cedars Revolution and Lebanon 's democracy. Hence, the response should be at the hands of the international community, starting from the United Nations' Security Council to the various countries worldwide concerned with democracy and human rights.

"Pierre Amin Gemayel was elected a member of parliament in June 2005 after the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon in April of that same year. He was one of the leaders of the Cedars Revolution and the minister of industry in the Seniora Government. Gemayel was an active advocate against the Syrian occupation of Lebanon , for the implementation of UNSCR 1559 and calling for the disarming of all militias, including Hezbollah. The young leader has been calling for the resignation of pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud and for prosecuting the assassins of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. In short, Pierre A. Gemayel was one of the pillars of the political resistance to the Syrian and Iranian regimes in Lebanon . He and his colleagues were calling for the disarming of Hezbollah and the inclusion of moderate Shiite leaders in the political process.

"Hezbollah and the Syrian-Iranian axis have considered the last legislative elections in the US and the formation of the Baker Commission as a signal to wage terror campaigns to crumble the political process in Iraq and the cabinet in Lebanon . This week, secretary general of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah and his allies were preparing to wage an urban uprising against the Government. But the supporters of the Cedars Revolution said they will take the streets again.

"Hence, as we witnessed today in Beirut , the 'Terror arm' of the Syro-Iranian camp moved forward to strike the Government instead.

"1) Killing three ministers would paralyze the functioning of the cabinet per internal regulations. The assassination of Pierre Gemayel is a step in the campaign to "empty the cabinet" of its members.

"2) This assassination aims at intimidating civil society from mobilizing against the pro-Syrian campaign.

"In response, the international community should act swiftly in defense of Lebanon 's population under the UN chapter 7, by voting a new resolution to reinforce the UNIFIL in Lebanon and endow it with a deterrence and security mandate to protect civil society from violence as was the case in East Timor and Kosovo.

"The Cedars Revolution real and strategic response to the Terror War waged against Lebanon 's civil society should be to press for the removal of Emile Lahoud from the Presidency and disband his security operatives."

Tony Badran, a research fellow at FDD, says:

"A few days ago, another Lebanese leader warned that the Syrians might kill ministers in order to force the dissolving of the government after the resignation of the Shiite ministers.

"The Syrians have one overriding objective: the scuttling of the international tribunal into the assassination of Hariri in which Syria was implicated. The U.N. is meeting today to adopt it and send it back to the Lebanese gov. to be ratified.

"The noise and chatter about 'engaging' Syria has emboldened Syria to mount an offensive in Lebanon , interpreting what it sees as U.S. weakness as a license to kill and redominate Lebanon.

"The Syrians have told a recent British delegate that cooperation on Lebanon is out of the question. The Syrians are set to redominate Lebanon . "

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