Following is an excerpt from an address by Sami Gemayel, son of former Lebanese president Amin Gemayel. The address aired on Future News TV on June 1, 2009.
Sami Gemayel: This used to be the best country in the world. This country used to be called “Switzerland of the East.” The older people among us still remember how good life in Lebanon used to be. Let’s try to remember when things began to change, when our lives changed. It changed when the front in South Lebanon was opened. It changed in 1969, when some people decided to turn Lebanon into a rocket launching pad against Israel. This is when our catastrophes began. This is exactly when our catastrophes began. We should be completely realistic. We will not bring an end to this black era in the history of Lebanon, we will not bring an end to the Lebanese [civil] war and to all our catastrophes unless we deal with the reasons for these catastrophes, and close the front in South Lebanon in a final manner. Final, final, final!
There had been no weaponry in Lebanon before this front was opened, and the issue of illegal weaponry will not come to an end unless we close this front. Today, we are committed to a peaceful, civilized, developed Lebanon, which will not come to be as long as there is a front in the South... Moreover, when the front in the South was closed by Resolution 1701, they shifted this front to the center of Beirut, to the Shuf area, and to Aley.