Leaving "Occupied" Lebanon

Springtime for Syria. This was the world's deadline for Syria to end its staging ground for terrorism and strategic, twenty-nine year-old "occupation" of Lebanon.

Gary Fitleberg

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Springtime for Syria. This was the world's deadline for Syria to end its staging ground for terrorism and strategic, twenty-nine year-old "occupation" of Lebanon.

Syrian soldiers first crossed into Lebanon during 1976, at the invitation of a Maronite Christian government looking for "protection" during the civil war that broke out the year before. Syria became an active force in the fight. Syria even fought against the same Arab "Palestinians" it seeks to support now. Then, Israeli soldiers fought this same Arab "Palestinian" band of thieves and terrorists in support of the Maronite Christians. In other words, Syria quickly turned the away from invited "peacekeeper" and "protector", taking advantage of the weakness of Lebanon's instability for their own agenda, transforming itself into an "occupation" force. Then, Syria accused Israel of "occupation".

Syria fought several local Lebanese militias to take over Lebanon as part of a greater Syria. Sad, but true. Tragically.

Syria's role shifted in 1989, when the international community gave Syria approval to stay in Lebanon to help keep the peace between warring clans and religious groups. Once the fighting calmed down, Syria was supposed to leave, not "occupy" Lebanon.

Instead, Syria's soldiers never left. Syrian control and domination spread like wildfire into every aspect of Lebanon's being and infrastructure - economic, military, political, religion, social - under the false guise of "peacekeeper" and "protector" of Syria's Arab brethren. Syrian "occupied" Lebanon was used as the staging ground, with its "Axis of Evil" partner Iran, for attacks on Israel's northern border by Hizbullah.

President George W. Bush declared the "withdrawal" a historic day for Lebanon. What he didn't declare was a clear victory in the international war against terrorism and the end of the medieval Middle East. A welcome end to the "occupation" of Lebanon by one of the top state supporters of terrorism, according to the US State Department. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli called the withdrawal an important first step toward Syria's compliance with a UN Security Council resolution, according to the Associated Press.

But let's not get too excited about Syria's exit. The other part of the resolution, which demands the disarming of Hizbullah and "the remaining militias" still awaits its turn.

The country still remains in the shadows of the Hizbullah, which is still financed by Syria and which was trained by the Syrian military. Some Lebanese militias still support Syria openly even though their comrades-in-arms have departed finally. In particular, Lebanon will still have to deal with the Shiite Muslims, who maintain a largely powerful political force and militia. The group is expected to take on a larger role now that Syria has "officially" left Lebanon.

Now that the Syrian "occupation" of Lebanon has been lifted, it paves the road for democracy and freedom. Until now, Lebanon has been the extension or "puppet" of one of the worst corrupt dictatorships the world has ever known. Ironically and moronically, that same dictatorship served as chair of the United Nations Security Council - but that's another story for another time.

The time has come for Syria. Syria's surrender shows that they can not continue their course of action or they will ultimately face the consequences of their actions. As did Iraq, which also remained defiant a little bit too long. Syria is not strong. Syria has limited negotiating leverage now without Lebanon under its control and domination.

Surrender, or as some call it "disengagement" or "withdrawal", was inevitable. Just as the end of Communism in the Soviet Union. Just as the falling of the Berlin Wall in Germany. The Arab world, otherwise known as the Medieval Middle East, comprised of the worst lot of corrupt dictatorships, human rights violators, ruthless, repressive regimes, state supporters of terrorism, and tyrannies the world has known for centuries will eventually crumble into dust. It is inevitable. It is Karma. It is only a matter of time.

Arab hatred, incitement, terrorism and violence will not destroy Western civilization, but only themselves.

As for Lebanese citizens, no longer will they have to fear retribution for resisting the "occupation" by the nation-state of Syria. At long last. Finally. Syria was like a bad smell that wouldn't go away. The moral of this story is: be careful who to invite as your guest. Like all company, guests begin to smell when they overstay their welcome.

Leaving "occupied" Lebanon is a day of victory, a day of celebration, a day of independence. It is a return of sovereignty over Lebanon to the Lebanese people, marking the end of a military coup, in the name of rescue, which oppressed a whole nation.

The end of Syria's military "occupation" of Lebanon is at least a start in bringing about accountability for Syria's role in state-supported terrorism. All bad things come to an end, eventually.