“History is written by the victors”, Winston Churchill once said.
So what of Lebanon’s history? What about the part concerning the civil war and its actors in general and the Lebanese Forces in particular, as they commemorate today their martyrs’ day?
The Lebanese Forces were on the losing and eventually non-compromising (with the Syrian invaders and occupiers) side, and as such their history was written by their enemies. The 4th power, (media) managed to do far more reputation damage than the war and its excesses itself, and I was amongst those who were reading the wrong pages. Until I did my own research, my own investigations, my own readings of events. More often than not, it was first-hand accounts of events, learning from those who were there. Many were in the trenches, others in decision-making or consulting spots. Some, very few, in both.
The Lebanese resistance against the PLO and later the Syrian occupier, both of whom were bolstered by a significant part of the Lebanese population and the Lebanese army, started with disparate and boy-scout organized men and women, before morphing into a formidable army and its accompanying social services branch. They were of the “I shall not bow” kind, and indeed, they did not. Without going through the entire Lebanese civil war, and its aftermath, (or rather, continuation, considering it still has not ended, and will not end until we actually have “rule of law” imposed over the entire territory) I will say what even their previous enemies and opponents say now: Lebanon, without the sacrifice of 15,000 men and women, and the permanent disabling of ten times that number, would have ceased to exist.
What many people do not recognize, (especially amongst the “thawra” crowd) is that even now, and after the Hariri assassination and subsequent withdrawal of the terror Syrian regime forces, the LF’s martyrs-in-wait are what’s keeping Lebanon alive. Whether you like them or not, even if you hate them with a passion, (for some obscure personal reason that I urge you to review, or because you read the wrong pages: those written by their enemies) you must make peace with that fact: they are the ONLY obstacle between you and “Cancer Inc.” aka Party of God, and “Gangrene SAL.” the corrupt Sulta structure subjugated to Cancer Inc. They were free souls when they were jailed, gagged and beaten, and they will remain so forever. You need to ask yourself why. This month of September, when we honor the martyrs, is the reason why, from the very words (1994) of their then commander in chief, and now party president:
“We cannot compromise on our cause. We have dead comrades who fell in the field of honor, and we must honor their sacrifice. They fell for our freedom, and our freedom we will fight for. No matter the cost.”
They died so we can live, a free and proud life. Our pledge to our dead martyrs, our angels on over watch, is to go on. To only live free and proud. No matter the odds, no matter the cost.
And by God we shall. In this land of ours called Lebanon.
For this once, Mr. Churchill, History is written by the dead. The Lebanese Forces Martyrs.