The Lebanese people must stand behind their army
By: Nayla Tueni
No matter how heated the political debate gets all over the country, supporting the Lebanese army is imperative and compulsory. It is a national duty because the army represents the dignity and pride of the country. It is a humanitarian duty because no families have paid as heavy a price as the soldiers’ families have.
This week, more than 10 soldiers were killed, many went missing, and many others were injured in clashes with terrorists. They are real terrorists because as foreigners to Lebanon, they waged a war against the Lebanese army and captured and disarmed members of the internal security forces. Added to that, they are terrorizing the citizens and holding them captive. Thus, they are gangs kidnapping, killing and fighting to drag Lebanon into the midst of the Syrian war. They are helping the Syrian regime in this sense.
One may say that Hezbollah planned the clashes and dragged the army to it. Alternatively, one may believe that the battle targets the Sunni community. A third viewpoint is that it is a plot to get the commander of the army to the presidential palace. All of this is being discussed and circulated but it is nonsense considering the blood being shed in order to save Lebanon from the absurd destructive wars sweeping the entire region. The observer of what is happening around us from the violations and crimes against humans, heritage, customs, values and homeland, must be really worried and driven to reject this apparent Syrian invasion, as much he or she rejects the previous Syrian occupation. It is as if Syria, Lebanon’s closet neighbor, only seeks to drag the latter into hard times, both when it had full power and when it got weaker.
We must stand by the army in order to not divide and fragment the country
There is no doubt that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is rejected by the Christian and Shiite communities and has for sure been rejected by the Sunnis. The Sunnis in Lebanon are a symbol of moderation. They are in solidarity with the Syrian opposition, many of whom were suffering from misery and injustice. Thus, they should not be accused of harboring terrorists. There is a huge difference between opposition against Assad regime and the Takfirist group that recruited its members from all corners of the world. Such a group is external to both the Syrians and the Lebanese, no matter which religion they belong to.
Today, we must stand by the army in order to not repeat the 1975 scenario. We must stand by the army in order to not divide and fragment the country through the division of the army. If the army doesn’t stand for itself, and if we don’t stand by the army, we will be committing unforgivable crimes.
Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni