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civil liberties of the Syrian and Lebanese people by the Government of Syrian Arab Republic.”.

H.L.C.

AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE

TO H. CON. RES. 32

OFFERED BY Ms. Ros-LEHTINEN

Strike the preamble and insert the following:

Whereas since its invasion of the Lebanese Republic in 1976,

the regime of the Syrian Arab Republic has implemented a systematic policy of occupation over Lebanon that has transformed the political, social, and economic character

of Lebanon; Whereas on July 20, 1976, President Hafez al-Assad of Syria

stated that “Syria and Lebanon were one state and one people”;

Whereas, on October 13, 1990, the Syrian occupation of Leb

anon was complete, when Syrian troops launched aerial and ground attacks and occupied the Lebanese presidential palace and the Ministry of Defense, ousting the constitutional government of Prime Minister Michel Aoun of Lebanon;

Whereas the Syrian regime appointed their own proxy gov

ernment and president in occupied Lebanon, and started a large-scale persecution operation against the Lebanese people by arresting, abducting, torturing, and killing op

ponents of the occupation; Whereas, on May 22, 1991, following the occupation of Bei

rut, Lebanon, Syria concluded the Brotherhood Treaty

for Coordination and Cooperation with Lebanon; Whereas this treaty solidified the integration of the two coun

tries in matters of security and intelligence, finance and trade, and industry and agriculture, by establishing the

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mechanism for Syrian command under the cover of "joint" decisionmaking;

Whereas the Syrian regime has continued to employ a wide

range of policy means to transform Lebanon into a “cli

ent state” and a Syrian political satellite; Whereas Syria clearly tampered with the Lebanese par

liamentary elections of 1992, 1996, and 2000, by amending electoral laws which delineated voting districts and laid down intricate procedures for the elections, which were rigged in a way to guarantee results favorable to

Syria; Whereas Syrian-backed ad-hoc modifications to the Lebanese

constitution extended by three years the presidential tenure of Lebanese president Elias Harawi, allowed Emile Lahoud, commander of the Lebanese army, to become president, and extended Lahoud's term in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559;

Whereas Lebanese judicial institutions have been utilized and

mobilized to impose Syrian control, including the routine issuance of death sentences in abstentia against expatriates and opposition leaders;

Whereas Lebanese Broadcasting Law No. 382 of 1994 pro

vided the legislative framework for controlling and restricting Lebanese radio and television;

Whereas the restrictions on the free flow of information and

opinion in Lebanon is in sharp contrast to the legacy of

journalism in that country; Whereas it is widely reported that Syria has utilized the prac

tices of kidnapping and arresting Lebanese citizens, using torture against them, and causing their virtual dis

appearance;

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Whereas Human Rights Watch reported that in November

1999 Syrian authorities in Damascus, Syria, offering no explanation whatsoever, returned to his family the dead body of Lebanese citizen Adel Khalaf Ajouri, aged 52, who had "disappeared in 1990;

Whereas within Lebanon itself, Syria reportedly operated de

tention facilities in Tripoli, Beirut, Shtaura in the Bekka Valley, and Anjar on the Lebanese-Syrian border;

Whereas “Syrian order” in Lebanon was institutionalized

when Damascus led the process of disarming the Lebanese militias, except for Hezbollah, which Syria retains as a terrorist proxy engaged against the State of Israel;

Whereas Lebanon, under the control of Syria, continues to

serve as a major training center for terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Pal

estine-General Command; Whereas a number of Lebanese government officials have ac

tively facilitated and contributed to the Syrian occupation and its activities, thereby threatening regional and global security;

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559

calls for the “strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority of the Government of Lebanon throughout Lebanon", the withdrawal from Lebanon of "all remaining foreign forces", "the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias", and "the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory”;

H.L.C.

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Whereas, on February 14, 2005, a bomb exploded in Beirut,

Lebanon, killing at least 15 people, including Rafik Hariri, former Prime Minister of Lebanon, and wounding approximately 100 other innocent victims;

Whereas after the bombing, President George W. Bush stated

during an address in Brussels that "Our shared commitment to democratic progress is being tested in Lebanon, a once-thriving country that now suffers under the influence of an oppressive neighbor”, called on Syria to “end its occupation of Lebanon”, and reiterated the provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559;

Whereas Lebanese opposition leaders gathered after Hariri

was killed and issued a statement demanding Syrian troop withdrawal from Lebanon within the next three months, calling for the resignation of the current Lebanese cabinet, and declaring that "we will fight the current regime and demand our right for a neutral government that makes sure Lebanon steps forward from being a captive state to regaining its full independence and sovereignty”; and

Whereas the ongoing mass demonstrations by the Lebanese

people resulted in the dramatic resignation of the Lebanese Cabinet on February 28, 2005: Now, therefore, be it

Strike the resolved clause and insert the following:

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Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate

2 concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that

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(1) the Lebanese Republic is a captive country;

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