Washington DC, July 18, 2007/William Harris - Now Lebanon/ -- In the contemporary world it is fashionable to represent conflicts as involving various shades of gray among contending parties, with clear moral choices being problematic. In the current Lebanese crisis, however, the choice is clear – it is between day and night, between light and darkness.
Above all, Lebanon’s future depends upon the survival and consolidation of its recently renewed democracy and independence. This requires agreement among political leaders on a new president committed to democracy and independence, implementation of the Lebanese state’s rightful monopoly of force on all its territory, and total cooperation with the international community in the proceedings of the coming UN murder tribunal. The Syrian/Lebanese security apparatus that commanded Lebanon until 2005, an apparatus still headed by Presidents Bashar al-Assad and Emile Lahoud, remains the prime suspect in the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Until the culprits for this crime and a succession of plainly associated murders and attempted murders of Lebanese critics of the Syrian regime are apprehended, political murder will rule supreme and Lebanese democracy cannot be secured.