ANNIVERSARY OF LEBANESE WAR OF LIBERATION -- (House of Representatives - March 11, 2004)
(Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, 15 years ago today the Lebanese people and their last legitimate government, headed by Prime Minister Aoun, courageously engaged in a war of liberation against Syria.
For 19 months, this heroic people fought to save and defend that which Syria wanted to destroy, Lebanese sovereignty and independence. Tragically, the Syrian regime overpowered them and succeeded in turning Lebanon into a captive nation.
Today, Syria harasses, arrests, imprisons, tortures and disappears anyone who speaks out against Syria's domination of Lebanon, and its campaign of intimidation extends here to the U.S. Congress.
Late last year, General Aoun appeared before the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia, which I chair, to address Members about Syrian occupation of and terrorist activities in Lebanon. For this, he was charged with treason, tried in absentia and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
We must send a clear message to Syria that its continued occupation of Lebanon will not be tolerated. Lebanon is a captive nation, and we must not rest until Lebanon is free from Syria's regime and their strangle hold.