Nothing but the truth. Even if against me.

Nothing but the truth. Even if against me.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

On a day like today in 1989, a tale about Shamel Roukoz

On a day like today, specifically August 13, 1989...The Syrian Army and its collaborator Jumblatt Druze militia and others had been shelling for three days straight the Presidential Palace, the Lebanese Army positions, and the Free Zone (the last Syrian occupation-free zone around Baabda where then-Prime Minister Michel Aoun was hiding).

Then on the morning of August 13, 1989 at 6:45 am, Michel Aoun calls on one of his officers in the field.... Some of the Lebanese Army officers, like Michel Sleiman, were hiding at home having unplugged their telephones. Others were at their positions, like Shamel Roukoz, then a First Lieutenant leading his company in Roumieh. The phone call from Prime Minister Aoun was a call of panic, "We are falling, Souk-Al-Gharb is falling to the Syrians and the Druze militias, you need to come and save the situation... Baabda will fall...etc..."

The officer receiving the call is a Captain. He calls on the lower ranking First Lieutenant Roukoz to ready his company to go to Souk Al-Gharb and join in the defense of the front there. Roukoz turns white pale and refuses. He says he "does not know the front"... His men "were never trained to the Souk Al-Gharb front" etc. Despite repeated orders from his superior, Roukoz continues to refuse to obey orders out of what was visibly cowardice and insubordination.

In the end, the Captain orders him to at least ready his company. Meanwhile, the Captain and several other officers present all head on the perilous journey under the shelling from Roumieh to Souk Al-Gharb. Many died serving their country, but these brave men all held the Syrians and the collaborator Jumblatt's Druze militias back and prevented the fall of Baabda. Michel Sleiman did not show up; he never received a phone call! Shamel Roukoz did not show up; he never obeyed his order to go fight for his country.

Fast forward many years later: Michel Sleiman became Army Chief and President, and Shamel Roukoz is today Michel Aoun's candidate to become the next Army Chief. Michel Aoun should know better who are the few good men who should be elevated and praised, but he is choosing a coward like Roukoz because Roukoz is his son-in-law.  In Lebanon, blood and money promote survivalist cowards up the chain of corruption in the political world, while real courageous soldiers and people of integrity - many of whom died serving - are forgotten and are never heard of.

This little tale summarizes everything about Lebanon: Most of today's politicians in this country are warlords, war criminals and such whose only merit is to have collaborated with the country's enemies and survived thanks to their cowardice and bazaar skills. Those who survived without compromising their integrity and sense of honor are shoved aside because their decency and integrity pose a threat to the cowards and corrupt bazaar merchants.

Shamel Roukoz as Army Chief would be a continuation of the same old order taking Lebanon down the abyss.

On a day like this in 1989....