Even if they crave peace, even if they can be seen as frivolous fiesta freaks, or just farniente aficionados, Lebanese are fierce warriors.
In 1975, when the PLO and other paramilitary organizations were set to take over Lebanon, they were met with ferocious resistance from Christian militias and citizen in arms. Despite their superiority in number, training, experience and armament, the PLO and its allies were ultimately defeated.
The same thing happened, two years later, to the Syrian army when it tried to invade Ashrafieh, the Christian stronghold in the Lebanese capital.
At the beginning of the eighties, the Druze brutally drove off others militias, and created an impenetrable stronghold in the Chouf region of Mount Lebanon. A stronghold that the very powerful Hezbollah failed to invade in 2008.
Born in 1982, on the aftermath of the Israeli invasion, the Lebanese resistance to Israel, first composed by different secular leftist organizations then united under the banner of Hezbollah, drove Israel out in 2000. Then defeated it when it tried again to invade Lebanon in 2006.
In 1989, the Lebanese Army, weakened by years of civil war and militia rule, fought the 35 000 Syrian troops and stopped their take over of the whole country. The latter was only possible when the international community gave the green light to a Syrian takeover, uniting Syria, Israel and all the different militias against the Lebanese Army.
Lebanese are fierce warriors. When they fought against each other, they destroyed the country and no party was able to ultimately win over the other. Even when one party fought that foreign army or armed organization, and the other party that other foreign army or armed organization, both parties were victorious.
Imagine if they were united. Imagine if, united, they all fight the same enemy.
Actually the time to imagine is over. That enemy is here, now. After Syria and Iraq, Daesh has invaded Lebanon, and the Lebanese Army is fiercely fighting them off in the border town Arsal and its outskirts. In a statement released yesterday, the Army said: “What is happening is one of the most dangerous situations that Lebanon has been subjected to.”
The time is now for all Lebanese to unite. To put all internal disagreements and conflicts aside and to unconditionally support our armed forces, in any way they need, against the Daesh barbaric plague.
The time is now to say, loud and clear: “No Pasaran!”
© Claude El Khal, 2014