Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

On The Lives That Have Been Lost…You Will Never Return | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The title of this article is one of the slogans used by the 14 March Alliance in Lebanon over the past years that refers to their rejection of any return by the political and security figures of the Syrian-Lebanese security regime that ruled Lebanon over the past three decades.

The Lebanese scene has ignited with images of the past and their [potential] implication in a way that has shocked many following the release of the Four Generals by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Yet this same scene represents a breakthrough to others who have used this as an opportunity to vindicate all that took place during the [Syrian-Lebanese] era.

Political and judicial figures that had completely disappeared or at least been absent from the public scene in Lebanon re-emerged. Those that had thought that the Syrian era in Lebanon had ended were informed by Lebanese and some Arab television stations by way of statements and images of a return to this era.

The scene of this memorable return was symbolized by the four Generals and a number of political and security officials, but at the head of all of this was the former head of General Security Major General Jamil al-Sayyed.

Mr. al-Sayyed seems to be the most qualified and most desirous of making appearance and confronting [this issue]. He is assisted in this by his knowledge, intelligence, and his ability to give speeches and discuss issues. These are characteristics that make him desirable material for television and the media, but media attention does not necessarily lend one credibility, especially since al-Sayyed was the number one security figure during the Syrian era in Lebanon. Certain policies and practices have been associated with him, which he himself has not denied, indeed he described himself as a cruel security official.

Al-Sayyed’s televised interviews attracted the bulk of the media attention over the past days, to the extent that writers and journalists have showered him with comments and articles that find him blameless for an era that is associated with him and others, which reflects how dazzled they are by this security official.

Last week was the first anniversary of the incidents that took place on 7 May when Hezbollah militants backed by the Syrian National Party and the Amal movement attacked Beirut, Jabal, Sidon, and other regions in what was called at the time “The May Invasion.” Among the terrible actions committed by the invaders during this period was the closing down and setting fire to buildings belonging to the Future TV media network, as well as the shutting down of other media networks in a planned decision to shut down and attack media agencies.

The scene that we have witnessed with regards to the release of the four Generals revives dark memories, and this release coinciding with 7 May further consolidates the fear of an attempt to restore the Syrian era in Lebanon.

There is no doubt that the media in Lebanon is approaching a new unpredictable era, but the signs that have witnessed are not reassuring, at least in terms of intentions.