Thursday, March 02, 2006

Syria in Lebanon (1976)

1976 Dry Bones cartoon - Syria in LebanonWhen I react to something in the news, I can't be certain that my readers are aware of the item. In those cases I use Mr. Shuldig (or another character) reading from a newspaper. That signals to the reader that the story is "real". In this case I used the device of showing an onscreen TV newscaster reading from a sheet of paper.

In 1976 it appeared to all that the civil war in Lebanon was endangering the continued existence of the Christian community. Then the Syrians stepped in to "save them".

The naive American statement at the time, accepting the purely noble and altruistic motives behind Syria's invasion is mocked in the Dry Bones cartoon.

A year earlier in January 1975, the Syrian minister of information had explained that: "Lebanon will not escape from the destined unity of Syria and Lebanon."

Then, in June 1976 the Syrian troops rolled into Lebanon .

One month later, in July 1976, Syrian Dictator Assad proclaimed that:"through history, Syria and Lebanon have been one country and one people. Our history is one, our future is one and our destiny is one."

So it seemed obvious to Uncle Shuldig that the American assessment was dumb.
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For background material on the situation at the time:
Check out the history of Syria and Lebanon at

A different take on what happened in 1976 is provided by the Guardians of the Cedars of Lebanon" who claim that:

"At the time, Yasser Arafat sent an urgent message to Hafez Assad asking him to intervene and rescue his Palestinian organizations that were faltering under the blows of the Lebanese resistance. The Arabs then issued a call for a summit in Riyadh at the behest of the Saudi regime and its partner the Syrian regime, and decided to send the Syrian Deterrent Forces camouflaged under an Arab cover, and they entered to rescue the Palestinians and not the "Christians as some claim."

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