Key Speeches

Introduction > Army’s fiftieth Anniversary – August 1, 1995

Our achievements are that of a nation

Armed Forces,
Thanks to brave acts by the nation’s leaders, Lebanon gained its independence on the twenty second of November, 1943.
And, on July twenty fifth, 1945, after negotiations between a Lebanese committee, led by the late Judge Yusuf Sharbel, and the French, the declaration was made that the independent Lebanese nation would take charge of the national Lebanese army as of midnight, August first, 1945.
The birth of your institution is the fruit of national independence.
Your impartiality to sectarianism and geography, and independence from political ambitions tensions protect the nation.
The army’s strength lies in the fact that it is an institution bringing together the nation’s youth for the good of the nation. Thus, the compulsory army service would promote pure nationalism among the youths.
You have honorably fulfilled your commitments to your country and thus strengthened the citizen’s faith in the nation and the future.  You have entrenched the State’s commitment to the rule of law and preservation of liberties.  You have helped our security forces and agencies spread security, open regions, combat drug trafficking and protect our nation’s achievements.
Your fiftieth anniversary is an honor and responsibility.
It is an honor because your endurance is one of the nation’s shining achievements.
It is also a responsibility urging you to stay loyal to your institution’s history and always stand as an example of duty service.
This nation of peace is diligent in its support for your institution and has sacrificed to provide you with what you need to complete your missions.
We have spared no expense to retrain you. The most wide-ranging academic and training sessions have been made available to you abroad.  As a result, your watercrafts have gone back to sea and your helicopters now fly over. Furthermore, every soldier’s dream for military housing has also become a reality.
As Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, I congratulate you on your achievements, namely solidarity and institutional reorganization, as well as your sacrifices for and loyalty to the homeland.
We honor your martyrs and we pay tribute to you all.
Your commitment strengthens the hopes of citizens.
Your homeland is looking to you, and to all of our security forces and agencies, to protect our sovereignty to the ends of our internationally recognized borders in the South and Western Bekaa so Lebanon can achieve liberty, reconstruction and victory.
Congratulations on your fiftieth anniversary.
May God protect you for Lebanon.
Fellow Lebanese,
What we have achieved for Lebanon is important, particularly if compared to what the nation was five years ago.  It has established a foundation for the future.  Our achievements are that of a nation, not of a term. We have allowed the homeland to return to its true identity. 
In the midst of loss and despair, it was my destiny to stand in the ruins and raise the flag of return:  Return of the State, national unity, security, hope, work, immigrants, the world to Lebanon and Lebanon to its brethren and the world.
Is it true that we are called humans because we forget?
Have we forgotten the tragedy of our past?
We have been steadfast and succeeded in the face of division and settlements.
Our land is heading toward liberation.
It is almost the end of my constitutional term and I am at peace with what I have been able to accomplish with your help.  We have fulfilled your will.  But, today, Lebanon is calling upon your abilities.
My most prized gift to my homeland is to see Lebanon rise again and renew itself for its sake and that of brethren and friends.   
We have ended the work but victory is not yet complete.
Three major issues remain:
First:  Completing the liberation of our occupied land in the South and Western Bekaa in order to save our essence.
Second:  Rebuilding Lebanon’s people, society, nation, institutions, sectors and areas.
Third: Promoting Lebanon’s role and status at the crucial crossroads the region, in particular, is currently facing and the world at large.
Fellow Lebanese,
All dedication in support of the homeland is legitimate.  All dedication against it is abhorred. 
We may face crises but we should focus on addressing them and regaining our strength. 
Having limited capacities does not mean carelessness, and requiring plenty does not imply a lack of supply.
Crises are resolved by collaborative work rather than disaccord. We have not ended the war to ignite tensions among the people.
We have a lot to do.  We have a long way ahead. We need more work and less talk.
Our economic and social situations are dire but they should not defeat the nation.  Rather, they should bring us together to resolve them.  The most noble of struggles is one that builds on gains and furthers them.
It is time for initiatives.  Why make it a phase of arguments?
When I call for administration reform, they say:  Agreement has waned and balance is shaken.  If I disregard excesses and waste of potentials, social and economic conditions worsen.
We seek our current interests when we take power, then we call for preserving national interest. They link national achievements to international resolutions and they declare defeat even before attempting to fix the problem.
Consensus is not based on forgiving trespasses, but rather on impartiality to rebuild our entire nation.
The start to a solution is not privatization, investment of public assets or melting of gold, rather, it is mentality.
In regard to spending, people want most administrations to be held accountable, but consider it a breach of their position or their confession’s rights to hold an administration important to them, accountable.
In regard to taxation, people consider it smart to evade taxes and financial obligations owed to the State.  At the same time, they demand balanced growth and services.
In regard to democracy, people scream for it from the roof tops but won’t practice it in their own homes. 
The national contract is based on the unity of the Lebanese people from the northern to the southern most points and equality in the eyes of the law.
The social contract is based on collaboration between the State and all its citizens.
Lebanon is a united collaborative nation.
Democracy means nothing without social building. 
Accordingly, social and economic prosperity requires institutional and administrative reform.  Regaining balance among executive, legislative and judicial institutions is necessary for comprehensive social and national revival.
National balance guarantees political stability which is, in turn, the path to economic prosperity.
Social rifts weaken our national unity and no nation can prosper if burdened by its people.
Solidarity between citizens and the State is the easiest way to meet needs. We have to heed the nation’s call.
If the Lebanese people cannot come together to turn security into economic and social stability, when will they come together?
By coming together, the structure was formed.  By coming together, the nation will rise and society will heal. 
Foreign workers only come to Lebanon because our youth are lazy or look forward to immigrating.  The inflow of foreign workers means that Lebanese workers fall short and not that unemployment is rampant. 
Social alert will lift the nation.  The path to social and economic reform is to impose taxation on all, control spending and enhance and empower agricultural and industrial productivity.
Commitment to free economy and its development promote confidence in Lebanon and are crucial to economic recovery.  We have continuously affirmed that there will be absolutely no change to bank secrecy in Lebanon.  
We call upon our brethren and friends, friendly European nations and the United States to support our path to development and building, just like Lebanon and its citizens have done for the world.
The end of war does not mean we’ve regained our health, rather that we have an opportunity to do so.
Institutions must function systematically, effectively and productively.
Security is stronger than street tensions and freedom is stronger than greed, which kills freedom, the state and its national achievements.
We reject any threat to security.  At this crucial crossroads, security is a necessity and need for citizens, the homeland, the State and society.   
There will be no concessions in this regard. We shall choose the nation, over food at the nation’s expense.
Security before food and politics, for it is the path to livelihood and freedom.  Lack of security is a loss of freedom, livelihood and politics, and that is what Israel wants.
As we have all learned, dialogue is the key to solutions.  All issues can be addressed through joint responsible deliberation.  Do not over pass your past to reach your goal.
We were lost and are working toward salvation.  We are managing our way out of the crisis.
Fellow Lebanese,
Unity is the only guarantee to attaining our holy rights.
Peace negotiations are at a sensitive phase which is exposing Israel’s true intentions.  We are ready for just and comprehensive peace.  But there can be no peace with occupation, attacks on our people and land, violation of our airspace and regional waters, and continued detention of our youth without any regard to human rights, international organizations and our independence.
We expect the United States, the promoter of peace in our region, to take a more active role in achieving just and comprehensive peace by applying international resolutions.
There can be no peace without Lebanon or at its expense.
We have worked with our brethren, particularly Syria under the leadership of President Hafiz Al Assad, to regain our land, sovereignty and to defend Arab dignity.
We cannot give in to Israel’s occupation of the South, Western Bekaa and Golan Heights, and we will not accept that one land be liberated before or without the others.  This is a commitment we make together.
Fellow Lebanese,
We want Lebanon to be sovereign, and a pioneer. We have saved Lebanon from sinking, and we cannot go back.  A country that is known for its generosity, and has gained international trust, is greater than reality. Lebanon only has room for constructive, creative and productive people and not for complainers, onlookers and dependents.
Our mission is reform and reconstruction.  Rebuilding the homeland has and will remain a regional need and international necessity.
Let us build.
Graduating Officers,
Today, you receive your commissions on the fiftieth anniversary of the Lebanese Army.  You graduate armed with a fifty year heritage of honor, sacrifice, loyalty and a Lebanese will to create a promising future in a united nation.  Fulfill your promise to your leadership and set an example for the future generations.
Fulfill the promise, be loyal to the State and support the entity of the state.

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