Lebanon must support the army’s war on terror

The military institution is important, especially when it comes to the war on terrorism

Nayla Tueni

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Lebanese politicians and those aspiring to attain political and administrative posts have been competing to give their opinions when any issue is linked to the army. Most of the time, they mix up the army and its commander, especially when the issue of electing a military figure for the presidency is brought up.

We'll avoid the shameful presidential bickering, which foreign parties decide for us anyway. But we must address the campaign that the ‘takfiris’ have launched against the Lebanese army.

They've described the military institution as a crusader, an infidel or a tool in the hands of Hezbollah and the Syrian regime. They've used terms that don't only harm the army but that also reveal the depth of their ignorance and their fanaticism -- things that have nothing to do with religion. These accusations do not relate to any values, morals or patriotism, terms that don’t exist in their dictionaries in the first place.

What is important to Lebanese people is to fortify our domestic unity which until now has prevented strife and controlled reactions every time there's an explosion, assassination or attack. All this is thanks to the awareness of some politicians who take honorable stances during these critical moments to avoid the country's slip towards the unknown.

The army's importance

If the political factor is important to keep the situation under control, then the military institution is just as important, especially when it comes to the war on terrorism.

The army may fail to be decisive if a bloody dispute erupts between the people of its country, but in a war against terrorism in which we are targeted from outside our borders, the army stands as one. It first defends itself as it's the first target. The threat of its presence increases as long as its efficiency in finishing off terrorists and takfiris increases.

The Lebanese people stand as one behind the army during these wars. They defend themselves and the army because it's the last shield. If it falls, God forbid, there will be no institutions that remains of the state and the country will once again turn into an arena for the wars of other groups.

The army is our army and its members are our fathers, brothers and sons. When they salute the flag, we no longer view them as our relatives but as representatives of patriotism.

Nayla Tueni

Bickering about the army is useless. Supporting the army lies in fortifying it and in vetoing all stances that accuse it of infidelity - even if these stances are taken by religious men.

Those making such accusations against the army must be confronted. We must expose the nullity of their arguments.
As they use Quranic verses to defend their stances, we also must have Quranic verses that prove them wrong.

The real threat lies in how the new generations view the military. The seriousness lies in the emergence of an environment hostile to the army and opposition to its development.

Shall this happen, the unjust campaign against the army will have achieved its aims and the military will no longer express united country.

The army is our army and its members are our fathers, brothers and sons. When they salute the flag, we no longer view them as our relatives but as representatives of patriotism.

Therefore, an environment friendly to the army must be provided in every mosque, every church, every college, every school, every club and every association. The army must be aided to protect itself and the country.

This article was first published in al-Nahar on Feb. 24, 2014.


Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni

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