Opposition Declares Intifada to Rescue Lebanon from Syria's Tutelage
Posted on February 18, 2005 at 10:30 pm
The Lebanese opposition declared an "uprising for independence" Friday and called for the pro-Syrian regime to step down so that a new government can be formed to oversee a Syrian military pullout from Lebanon.
"In response to the criminal and terrorist policy of the Lebanese and Syrian authorities, the Lebanese opposition declares the democratic and peaceful intifada (uprising) for independence," said leading opposition figure Samir Franjieh at a press conference held at Druze leader Walid Jumblat's house in Clemenceau.
Lebanon's anti-Syria opposition has accused the government and its political masters in Damascus of having a hand in the massive bomb blast that killed Hariri and 14 other people in Beirut on Monday and sent shockwaves through the nation.(AFP)
Jumblat Pleads with Assad: 'Unchain us, Leave us. You Made us Hate Syria'
Posted on February 18, 2005 at 10:40 pm
Rafik Hariri's assassination has brought about an inescapable showdown between President Assad's regime and a broad-based Lebanese opposition front sworn to unchain Lebanon from Syria's bondage.
"It's over and out. The relationship between Syria and Lebanon cannot continue in this manner. There must be a change, for Syria's sake before Lebanon's sake," said Druze leader Walid Jumblat, the spearhead of an opposition campaign sworn to terminate the current master-slave status.
In a late night interview aired by Hariri's Future-TV network, Jumblat said the assassination had slammed the door shut for any possible dialogue with either Syria or President Lahoud's regime, "which is a terrorist arm for Syria's secret service."
"Please, please, please go away. Please leave us alone, unchain us," Jumblat pleaded with Assad, wondering "why did you make us hate you, why did you make the Lebanese hate Syria. Why?"
Jumblat said Interior Minister Suleiman Franjieh and Justice Minister Adnan Addoum of Premier Karami's government were "nothing more at best than servants of Rustom Ghazaleh," the brigadier general who heads Syria's military intelligence apparatus in Lebanon.
"We will one day bring brooms and sweep this dirt, this authority of lackeys, to roast in hell. They will certainly be thrown to hell by the people of Lebanon soon," said Jumblat, the closest political ally and friend of ex-Premier Hariri before his assassination in a massive bomb blast in Beirut on Monday.
Jumblat said the opposition would stick to unarmed democratic means to break Syria's grip. "We have no weapons and we do not want any weapons, although whenever we object, politically mind you, they reply by assassinating us. Finish. The language of dialogue is over and out."
He also ruled out a dialogue with the Lahoud regime, saying "how can we enter into a dialogue with a government of dummies controlled by Syria's intelligence service."
Time and again in the interview Jumblat asked President Assad "why did you make us hate you. The whole of the Lebanese nation now hates Syria. Why?"
Jumblat said, addressing Assad, "there is absolutely no way to convince the Lebanese, not even a single one of them that Syria's Moukhabarat intelligence service hasn't murdered Hariri or is innocent of his blood."