Talk:May 17 Agreement

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Illegality due to occupation[edit]

In view of recent reverts, could someone provide references to the claim that some view this agreement illegal due to the fact that Lebanon was under partial Israeli occupation? This sounds weird, as it is quite usual that wars end with agreements more or less imposed by the winning party. -- Heptor talk 20:19, 7 May 2006 (UTC)


Just because Syria had military in Lebanon doesn't make it a military occupation. Syria did not invade Lebanon, so equating the status of the presence of their troops in Lebanon with the presence of Israeli troops is inherently confusing, and I don't why the objection to a brief and correct explanation. The word "occupy" has a very specific sense when talking about the military. -- Kendrick7 19:45, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Occupation is not dependent on whether or not one invades. Syria militarily occupied Lebanon, controlling it with soldiers, arms, and a secret police. That's what Aoun's War of Liberation was about, that's what United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 was about, that's what the Cedar Revolution was about. Jayjg (talk) 19:52, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Occupation is dependent upon invasion according to the wikipedia entry. Even so, if this article was about events in 2004 or 2005, like the examples you give, I wouldn't blanch at the use of the term in reference to Syria, because by that point their level of control had risen to the level of a true occupying power. But the setting here is 22 years earlier, a handful of years after they had been invited into the country by the Lebanese government as peacekeepers (a valid statement even if it glosses over how much "choice" Lebanese leaders might have been give in the matter of the invite). Can you can provide a reference that says they were asked to leave by the government and did not by the time period of this article? -- Kendrick7 20:11, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
The Hague Conventions outlining occupation say nothing about "invasion". Aoun's War of Liberation was in the 1980s, not 2004. The Vichy government didn't ask the Nazis to leave France, yet it was still occupied - puppet governments under occupation rarely ask their occupiers to leave. See also [1] Jayjg (talk) 20:22, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm not certain the Hague Conventions apply when there isn't a war; it wouldn't be proper to claim UNIFIL is occupying Lebanon for example (though I wouldn't be shocked that Hezbollah had that POV). Michel Aoun, who's 1988 claim head the Lebanese government was under dispute ([[Ren� Moawad]] was the internationally recognized sucessor), did declare his own war on Syria, but that wasn't until 1989.
Your source says Syria was attacking the Lebanese Forces in 1978, and does make it sound serious enough to assert they abandoned their pretext of peacekeeping then. But your source doesn't make clear they were originally invited, which makes me doubt whether it is presenting a NPOV. -- Kendrick7 21:36, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Oh, Guardians of the Cedars, which is hosting your web reference at, is labelled a terrorist organization by the U.S. State department. I'm not a stickler for automatically disregarding information on terrorist websites, but I'd really have to take what they say with a grain of salt on historical matters, especially since they have warred against Syria in the past. -- Kendrick7 21:59, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Mordechai Nisan is an expert in the field, and the article was originally published here, regardless of who has reprinted it. Jayjg (talk) 22:16, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Still, he implies Syria invaded in the first place, which seems a fairly obvious oversight if he's trying to be definitive here, though he does acknowledge critics of the term at the outset: "The Syrian occupation, calling it by its proper appellation, was consummated in 1989 with the Taif Accord and in 1990 with the removal of General (and Prime Minister) Michel Aoun from the Ba�abda presidential palace and with the full conquest of Beirut, Lebanon�s capital." (my italics) But even he is saying the occupation wasn't an indisputable reality (i.e. consummated) until 1989. -- Kendrick7 14:43, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
When you get married you're legally married, even if you don't consummate it for some time. Jayjg (talk) 19:29, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
That's actually not true in many juridictions of law, not to mention, last I heard, in the eyes of the Catholic Church. But surely you realize you are just quibbling at this point? -- Kendrick7 22:01, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
See also this: Syria, a supporter of Hezbollah, has occupied Lebanon since 1976., and this: 1979-1981 Syrian opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, launches guerrilla attacks and armed uprisings against the government to protest Syrian oppression of Palestinian peoples in occupied Lebanon. and these statements by Condoleezza Rice Syria... occupied Lebanon for the last 30 years, Syria occupied Lebanon for 30 years.Jayjg (talk) 21:09, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
A photo caption, a timeline from a radio station (which, again, ignores that Syria was invited in 1976, or are equating peacekeeping with occupying, take your pic), and TV interviews with the U.S. Secretary of State while U.S. backed Israel was at war with Syria-backed Hezbollah? Gee... I'm not exactly feeling overwhelmed here. They were peacekeepers in 1976; their role still seems to be as peacekeepers in the 1989 Taif accords. I still don't think the disputed Syrian occupation should be linked in the lead with the indisputed Israeli occupation. -- Kendrick7 22:01, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
PBS is generally considered a reliable source, and the "radio station" is actually Canada's national broadcaster (radio and television), so I'm finding your protestations increasingly weak. And if you think the American Secretary of State is too Israel-friendly, how about this quote, from a very Arab-friendly author:

"Hours after the 17 May agreement was signed - Draper's signature represented the Americans - Syria announced that Philip Habib, Reagan's senior negotiator in the Middle East, was no longer welcome in Damascus. For more than a day, all roads through the Syrian lines in the mountains above Beirut were closed. The implications of this were obvious: if Gemayel ratified the treaty with Israel, then he would have no influence in Syrian-occupied Lebanon." Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation, p. 483.

You might also be interested in this:

"In October 1976 the various parties achieved a cease-fire in the civil war... This force was mainly Syrian in composition - 25,000 out of a total of 30,000; so that new arrangement amounted in effect to another form of Syrian occupation. The cumulative effects of these events was a drastic loss of Lebanese independence, and what amounted to a partition of the country between the Syrian-occupied north (the major part of Lebanese territory) and an area in the south where the Palestinians, Phalangists, and Israelies fought sporadically with one another." Philip M. H. Bell The World Since 1945: An International History p. 409.

How much more do you need? Jayjg (talk) 22:23, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't know what exactly is intended by the description of Robert Fisk as "a very Arab-friendly author", or what the basis for such a description of him is, but he is certainly not friendly towards the Syrian regime. Quite apart from his frequent high-flown denunciations of it, he was the only western journalist to send out news of Rifaat al-Assad's bloody suppression of the Ikhwan revolt in Hama. I hope some Wikipedia editors at least will be able to grasp the idea that "Arabs" (all 300 million plus of them?) are not an undifferentiated and politically homogenous mass. Palmiro | Talk 00:35, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Thanks! -- Kendrick7 23:50, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the use of the term "occupation" to describe the Syrian military presence in Lebanon is inaccurate and awfully POV. I'd refer those who are unfamiliar with the background to the discussion on Talk:Syrian presence in Lebanon. There was a much more neutral version of this page last time I looked at it, cf my last (I think) revision [2]. I'm placing a POV-tag on the page until these issues are resolved. Palmiro | Talk 02:36, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Could you elaborate what issues exist aside from the "occupation" problem? Since that is currently the name of that article, it is being sorted out there. TewfikTalk 06:13, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Actually, it's not being sorted out there. Quite a lot of people have objected at length and with strong arguments to the page being at an inaccurate and POV title, but the supporters of the "occupation" version of the title are more persistent in reverting until they get their way. That doesn't mean that use of an inaccurate and POV term is justified elsewhere. Palmiro | Talk 14:40, 29 October 2006 (UTC)