Response to the Terrorist assassination of Gemayel
OF LAHOUD AND UN CHAPTER 7
* Walid Phares
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
targeted 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 an elected member of parliament in June 2005
after the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon in April of the
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 the
prosecution of 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 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" from its members.
2) This assassination aims at intimidating civil society from
mobilizing against the pro-Syrian campaign.
And in response to the assassination and the terror campaign, 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
*Dr Walid Phares is a senior