An Open Letter to our Comrades in Captivity
Dear Rifa' (comrades):
Please find attached an open letter to our LF comrades in prison. We took
the liberty and had it translated into English, pasted below. Please read
the Arabic version, if you cannot, then read the English and send us an
e-mail letting us know if you would like to participate in sending this
letter (you can just e-mail back an "ok" answer). You have until next Sunday
when this letter will be mass e-mailed and faxed to all media outlets in
Lebanon and some foreign publications indicating the number, and only the
number, of those who participated. If we do not hear from you, we will have
to call you. Please save us the time and money and respond to our e-mail.
The letter attached is your voice, your chance to say what you wanted to say
and give support and encouragement to our comrades who have sacrificed
themselves for our cause. Please, let us hear from you.
Any suggestions to better wordings in English are welcomed!
If you could not open the attachment, provide us with a fax number and we
will fax it to you. Also, let us know who else we could send this to.
The Lebanese Forces
To our heroes,
As discipline, masked by concepts such as openness, reinstating trust and
mutual understanding and dialogue, dominates the internal political arena;
As the authorities continue to deny its responsibility for the economic
disaster and instead use it as a silencer to political opposition and as a
means to hijack political life;
As dialogue is again stripped of its true meaning and instead used to
As all the above goes on, the fact remains that the wave of arrests, which
targeted hundreds of freedom fighters and produced accusations of great
conspiracies designed to alter the political geographical map of the entire
region, ended with only you being in prison, our comrades!
It became evident, through tape-recorded and televised "confessions," which
later mysteriously and conveniently disappeared, that you are guilty until
proven innocent and that you have stood obstacles to Arabs' claim to the
Golan Heights, the Shebaa Farms and finally Palestine!!!
Our comrades in captivity,
The authorities moved you from a big prison into a smaller cell, which became
a price you are willing to pay for a free nation, a nation we all dream of.
You became the shining light and bearers of a truth that the more we are
persecuted the stronger we are. No cause could ever die with you as its
We shall together be free and embrace a nation that is sovereign, independent
With you and on behalf of ever Lebanese Forces member in Lebanon and in the
Diaspora, we make a stand on the following:
1- On the National issue: The Lebanese Forces built its political vision on
the basis of a free, independent and sovereign Lebanon, an entity bearing its
own rich history and carrying a unique identity, an entity indivisible and
not subject to occupation or annexation. A modern democratic nation and a
system, which thrives on diversity, unity and on social justice.
2- On the issue of sovereignty: Our school of thought, our commitment to our
cause and our history dictate our political behavior. The Lebanese Forces
was and still is the champion of sovereignty, to which there can be made no
denial or a dispute. The sacrifices of the past and the thousands of martyrs
could not be forgotten nor dismissed. The Lebanese Forces gave and would
still give Lebanon without limits.
3- On relations with Israel: We tentatively and categorically refuse to be
bound politically and physically until proven guilty on fabricated charges of
collaboration!!! The Lebanese Forces have become a shooting field for all
those "nationals" who seek to please the authorities or gain the Syrian
We refuse to be given lessons on nationalism and to be subjected to daily
political blood tests. We refuse to be kept behind bars always accused,
always having to defend ourselves, especially that we know everyone's
detailed history, a history we chose to put behind for the benefit of all.
It is the history of those who dare to judge us today and force themselves
upon us using someone else's muscles and serving the interest of this someone
else. Let is be known that the charge of collaborating with a foreign
entity, regardless what entity, and the charge of working against Lebanon's
interest may implicate many who intentionally or ignorantly pretend to have
Israel has left Lebanon and yet the authorities keep hammering the issue only
to serve their internal political agenda.
We demand an end to the policy of double standards and to political lies and
deceit. We demand that the Lebanese Army be deployed in the South to protect
our borders, as our national interest requires. Otherwise, we preserve the
right to object to leaving the South bleeding and hurting, and to keeping the
country hostage to Shebaa Farms, hostage in the hands of those who aim to
realize foreign interest.
4- On the relations with Syria: The Lebanese Forces is not a sectarian force
against Syria and Syrians, as some make it to be, nor a gang of mercenaries,
loyal to a foreign country, against Lebanon and Syria. The Lebanese Forces
is a Lebanese political entity, which carries a political vision for the
benefit of Lebanon and recognizes foreign relations as governed by two
principles, Lebanon's sovereignty and its national interest.
Hence, the Lebanese Forces demanded and demands that Syria withdraws from
Lebanon as a first step towards defining Lebanese-Syrian relations with total
objectivity and away from exercised pressures. As for the withdrawal
mechanism, a predetermined and official timetable should be put in place
scheduling redeployment as dictated by the National Reconciliation Agreement
The Lebanese Forces demanded and demands an end to Syria's control over
Lebanon's economy, security and internal and foreign politics.
The Lebanese Forces demanded and demands an end to the use of Syrian
influence by politicians and local authorities as a means to force certain
realities on the locals, especially opposition groups.
As the above is realized, the Lebanese-Syrian relations could then be
determined based on equality and mutual respect.
5- On the issue of Liberty: The recent wave of political arrests by the
Security Apparatus and against members of opposition groups is politically
motivated and targeted liberties. As reconciliation, which resulted form
Patriarch Sfeir's visit to Shouf Mountains may have precipitated the timing
of the arrests, however, the true intentions behind the crackdown became
evident from its results! Hundreds were illegally and inhumanly detained for
known political reasons and protesters who gathered in front of Justice
Palace were attacked savagely by plainclothes members of the security. At
the end of this political farce, all detainees were released except three
members of the Lebanese Forces and two Journalists who supposedly confessed
but under physical and psychological torture as stated by lawyers, by the
local and international media and by Human Rights Organizations.
It is a recurrent scenario with the same security-judicial teamwork, the same
accusations and the same target: the Lebanese Forces.
Oddly and under such circumstances, there are those who still propagate the
myth of dialogue not realizing (or perhaps for other reasons) that this is a
trap designed at this juncture to marginalize those who are politically
detained, to pacify opposition groups and to create divisions between those
who oppose dialogue and those who call for it.
For dialogue to be, liberty must be prevalent. There is no dialogue where
there is tyranny. There is no reconciliation where there is oppression.
There is no trust where there is suppression. There is no cooperation where
there is supremacy.
Our comrades in captivity,
Rest assured that we have not forgotten and we shall not forget. We shall
not back down until we obtain our demands for which you have shed your blood
and your sweat since the early days of resistance and until today.
We are with you and for you, be strong for us!
Finally, to those who rule with tyranny we say: your days are numbered!
The Lebanese Forces
Your comrades in exile.