Talk:Syrian occupation of Lebanon

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Occupation or Presence?[edit]

A dispute over the title of this article began in Wikipedia:Votes for deletion/Lebanon under Syrian protection, over if it should be names "Syrian occupation of Lebanon" OR "Syrian presence in Lebanon":

  • (...)The relocation of the page to Syrian presence in Lebanon also seems to be a pasty, non-neutral white-wash. It was a military occupation, not a vacation tour. :) — RJH 18:37, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
  • (...) Under Syrian protection is a very POV title, but so is Syrian occupation of Lebanon. The move to "Syrian presence in Lebanon" was done by a Lebanese editor and there are many reasons for why this title is more neutral. The main reason is that no international organization ever called it an occupation, and that many Lebanese Shi'a (which make up 30% of the Lebanese population) are actually very much Pro-Syrian and never termed it an occupation either. Yuber(talk) 19:11, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
First, the dispute over "occupation" and "presence" should be in the talk page of the article. Second, I moved the "Syrian occupation..." to "Syrian presence...", as a step before this issue will be solved and to prevent POV. Personnaly I would prefer the title "Syrian occupation of Lebanon".500LL 20:34, May 30, 2005 (UTC)
How about the title "Syrian military presence in Lebanon"?Yuber(talk) 01:15, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
Don't forget that there was also the "Syrian intelligence presence in Lebanon" and "Syrian diplomatic pressure over lebanon". The title you suggested could only be fit in a the main article of a section of the article "Syrian occupation of Lebanon", and only if it ever gets expoanded. 500LL 12:59, May 31, 2005 (UTC)
Is it possible this could be merged into another article? However, as for your claims about "Syrian diplomatic pressure" that has nothing to do with an occupation. I would recommend putting facts about Syrian diplomatic pressure on Lebanon into the article on Foreign relations of Lebanon, I would be happy to help. Syrian intelligence presence is another thing entirely. Both you and I know that it is impossible to tell whether Syria still has intelligence agents remaining in Lebanon, but I still don't see how these would constitute an occupation.Yuber(talk) 22:46, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
I think the current "Syrian Presence" is the best title and the only NPOV one. It's the phrase that the New York Times and the US State department used. The ICRC, which has the responsibility to call occupations occupations never called it one, because it could not.--John Z 02:35, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Also, I'd like to add that using the word occupation implies that it is in some way equivalent to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. For those of us who have been to Lebanon under "occupation", it is clear that they were in no way, shape, or form equivalent.Yuber(talk) 01:18, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
We could call the article Syria's intervention in Lebanon although I would call it an occupation. I think it's important that we keep the article because this fact is disputed and we cannot focus on this subject in another article, Lebanon or Lebanese Civil war are not the proper place to expound this topic.
BTW lot of countries have called it an occupation, including the USA see--equitor 22:29, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
A bill or proposal in Congress does not amount to formal recognition of it as a military occupation. Congress simply does not have that power, only the president does.John Z 15:47, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
The president of the United States did sign the Syria accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty act and implemented the sanctions requested by the congress. But, for the sake of the argument, let us suppose that he never signed it. Who said that an occupation had to be internationally recognized? Political reasons are often stronger than the truth, ethical behaviour is not the standard of international politics. The Nazi occupation of Tchecoslovaquia in 1938 was legalized, same for the Soviet and Eastern Europe. Also there are other elements that I added on the bottom. Finally, it's widely expected that the UN incriminates Syria for assassinating Hariri. How would reasonable people qualify the act of having a heavy military presence in a neighbouring country, imposing presidents and constitutional changes and political choices, and blowing prime ministers with 1000 kg of TNT killing tens of people? A 'presence'? A very heavy presence to say the least.--equitor 17:07, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Several US officials has called the occupation 'occupation'. The latest one is Adam Ereli, official spokesman of the state department (can you get more official than that?)

"I would note, obviously, that Mr. Kanaan was a central figure in the Syrian Government's occupation of Lebanon for many years. His role and that of other key officials in the Syrian leadership has come under increased scrutiny lately, in light of recent events in Lebanon, in light of the Mehlis report.

"We would call on the Syrian Government to end its interference in Lebanese affairs and to cooperate fully with the investigation of Mr. Mehlis into the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri."

Asked whether a link exists between Kanaan's suicide and Hariri's assassination, Ereli said "I'm not making any such conclusions. In fact, we would look to the Syrian Government to come forth with whatever their assessment is of the circumstances of Mr. Kanaan's death." Links

I will probably revert the title after the Mehlis report. --equitor 19:44, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

its obviously an occupation that's what everyone calls it. noone calls it "syrian presence in" except maybe syrian supporters. John McW 03:04, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Exactly !--equitor 19:54, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

I think you've been too hasty in changing the title. I'm not here to discuss if it was an occupation or a simple presence, but you should know that there's a lot of controversy inLebanon about the name of these 15 years of corrupt syrian-lebanese relations. The lebanese government has never called it an occupation (إحتلال) but have been using the word وصاية which I don't know its english equivalent. And using the argument Several US officials has called the occupation "occupation" is a proof of the Western bias that caracterises a lot of articles in Wikipedia, and is usually found in Lebanon-related articles. One that thing, this "occupation" is very similar to the Soviet union big influence on its satellite countries, but I've searched articles and the world "occupation" has never been used to describe this period. CG 17:44, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree. I think we should move the article back until more discussion takes place. Yuber(talk) 00:46, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
Why was this article moved? The new title is POV and the old one is NPOV, and there are several clear comments to that effectc above in the earlier parts of this discussion.
There may be arguments in favour of the current title as being accurate, but the old one is accurate too, and undisputedly so. This move doesn;t appear to have complied with guidelines either. I strongly support the comments of CG, who is one of the most knowledgeable and professional editors on Lebanese topics (despite the scary name). Palmiro | Talk 13:36, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Lol, is my name so scary? :-p

Syrian Presence in Lebanon was unambigiously POV. Its plays down what is internationally described worldwide as an occupation and makes it sound like a casual visit. NPOV does not hiding facts, just writing about them neutrally. User talk:Jtdirl 19:36, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

this is obviously an occupation, as many people have said above. i'm tired of syrian apologists trying to whitewash this. John McW 05:18, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Please, respond to my arguments.! CG 13:11, 20 November 2005 (UTC)
Jtdir, you're missing the point. I'm not discussing if it was an occupation or not but this name is NPOV. It's putting down the lebanese POV which should be the essential view of this article. As I said, the fact that it's internationally described worldwide as an occupation is NPOV because it shows a western POV and not a lebanese POV. and like I said, it wasn't officially recognised by the lebanese government that it was an occupation. I could relate this to another example in the article Qana that wasn named originally "Qana massacre", but there had been a renaming war because this title was disturbing on the israeli side. Even the argument that the UN recognised it as a massacre hadn't much effect, so the most NPOV name "Qana" had been chosen. The same applies here. We should choose the title that it's most NPOV on all sides: Western, Syrian and Lebanese (yes it's view is different from all other views). Personnaly I neither like "Syrian presence in Lebanon" nor "Syrian occupation of lebanon". After much thinking I suggest to name it Lebanon-Syria relations. CG 19:43, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
syria didn't just influence lebanon, it controlled the country with troops and secret security services for 30 years, while sucking it dry for money. that is an occupation, not "influence". the lebanese goverment didn't call it an "occupation" because they were controlled by syria, and anyone who called it that would end up like Rafik Hariri. Lebanon-Syria relations have been going on for 60 years, but the 30 year Syrian occupation of lebanon shouldn't be in an article with that bland meaningless apologist name, even though I'm sure Syria and the syrians here would love that. John McW 15:45, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
I'll put similar examples of such influence and occupation:
The Soviet Union over its satellite countries, it has influence, plus military presence, plus it executed many opposant. But it isn't called an occupation, at least in Wikipedia (check the articles).
The invasion of USA in Iraq: It is an armed military invasion, but is it called an occupation? no.
I'm saying that using the world "occupation" is to compare this period of Lebanese history with such occupations as the Nazi in WW2 or the North Korea in the Cold war, which in the Syrian case is not. It's a unique pattern of occupation that could best be described as similar to the satellite countries of the Soviet Union. An article's title should not put down prejudices, as "Syrian occupation of Lebanon" makes one automatically compare it to any other military occupation that followed an invasion or war. Syria has entered Lebanon "peacfully" following an invitation.
On the other hand, "Syrian presence in Lebanon" could be POV, because it undermines the "cruelty" of Syria.
I find both occupation and presence POV, and we should find a more NPOV title.
And by the way, I'm a regular followers of Lebanese news, and the current Lebanese government, ruled by the party of Rafiq Hariri hasn't called yet an occupation
even though I'm sure Syria and the syrians here would love that: You have your point of view, it's the same as mine, but we shoudn't neglect other point of views just because they upset the western world, or there aren't enough users to represent this view in Wikipedia. CG 16:59, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
"Occupation" appears unambiguous as it confirms a foreign mililtary imposition and threat to the local government. Presence can include troops located in a country as a result of a peaceful and friendly treaty between two nations. Hence the U.S. military presence in western Germany as a result of the cold war, which followed the military occupation. So I think presence is too ambiguous in the case of Syrian troops in Lebanon. If the Syrian troops were not present to manipulate the political situation, but were instead present solely to protected the country from a foreign power, then presence would be more suitable.
Is there not a suitable compromise title that would work here? How about "Syrian military intervention in Lebanon"? The article can then cover the aspect of "occupation" in a sub-section. :) — RJH 16:34, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
There have been different titles suggested, all in my view are POV, or doesn't represent all aspects. The one you suggested, doesn't represent all the period because it wasn't only a military intervention, but also a political influence. The best NPOV thing to do, even though I'm not really satisfied with it, is to make a Lebanon-Syria relations article and put the period in question as a sub-section. CG 17:03, 21 November 2005 (UTC)
I support CG's suggestion, not that it's at all ideal and it is too broad, but it's possibly the best compromise that's come up yet.
As CG says, Lebanese sources, where they don't refer to ocupation, tend to use "wisaya" in Arabic. That translates according to my dictionary as "guardianship, curatorship, tutorship; executorship; tutelage; mandate (politics); trusteeship". It's also a fairly precise equivalent for "tutelle" which is the term normally used in Lebanon in French, which Harrap gives as "1. (a) tutelage, guardianship; enfant en tutelle, child under guardianship; (b) Politics: territoires sous tutelle, trust territories. 2. protection; prendre qqn sous sa tutelle, to tak someone under one's wing." That gives a flavour of the terminology used in Lebanon, though it doesn't inspire me with any immediate solution for our problem here. Palmiro | Talk 15:00, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
"occupation" is the word that actually describes what was going on and is the word most used in english, so it obviously should be used. John McW 22:59, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
If you think so, please refute the opposing points made in this discussion. Just saying "Oh yes it is" won't win you an argument. Palmiro | Talk 13:05, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
yuber moved this on may 30, against "policy" as you say. "syrian occupation of lebanon" returns 21,500 google results, "syria's occupation of lebanon" is another 11,800. "syria's presence" gets less. John McW 20:02, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
No, Cedar guardian (then known as 500LL) moved it. Read the discussion above and you'll see. Please refute the points made against that title, if you want it to stay where it is. Google hits is an appalling basis to decide where to put this, in my opinion. Palmiro | Talk 21:34, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

John McW you have missused the Google test. You shouldn't make this test to determine the POVness of a title: "When using Google to test for importance or existence, bear in mind that this will be biased in favor of modern subjects of interest to people from developed countries with Internet access, so it should be used with some judgment.". This test should only be used to compare different forms of a name ("The English language often has multiple terms for a single concept, particularly given regional dialects. A series of searches for different forms of a name reveals some approximation of their relative popularity."). Therefore your invalid argument about the popularity of the "occupation" word shows only a Western view and undermines all other views. CG 18:12, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

  • My vote goes for 'presence'. It certainly wasn't an occupation, and if the argument was made that it is a combination of the two, it definitely was much more of a presence than an occupation. This can be very simple to see, just by comparing it to any real occupation, such as the occupation of Palestine, and spotting the huge differences. I call on an admin to create a poll, since somebody changed it to 'occupation', even though the majority of users here appear to agree with the title using 'presence'. Asabbagh 01:07, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

The thing I've always found most remarkable about these discussions is that everyone seems to forget the wikipedia is an Encyclopedia and therefore must have names for its articles that relate to what the majority of users would expect it to be. If this is not the case then articles become difficult to find. I've always believed that NPOV is less important in titles than titles that relate precisely what the topic of the article is. In this case, "Syrian Presence in Lebanon" could refer to the 1976-2005 Syrian occupation of Lebanon. It could also refer to Syrian diplomatic representation in Lebanon over the last 60 years. Or it could refer to Syrian owned businesses operating in Lebanon. The fact is that if I was searching for any of those topics, I would click on an article titled "Syrian Presence in Lebanon". On the other hand, "Syrian Occupation of Lebanon" clearly refers to a military presence whose legal right to be there is in question. NPOV is great, in articles, but the title itself needs to explicitly state what the article is about. Using the term "presence" could be about any number of things. The term "occupation" is the best word for the actual subject matter of this article. (note, I would keep and probably expand the section that speaks to the various views on whether or not this was indeed an occupation). Fooglmog (talk) 01:41, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

It was definetely an occupation. All internal Lebanese affairs for the most recent times until 2005 had to go through Ghazi Kanaan, who basically controlled Lebanon on behalf of the Syrian regime. --Eternalsleeper (talk) 19:52, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
It was most defintely NOT an occupation, especially since President Sarkis and the Christian Maronites asked for military intervention and the Arab League gave Syria a mandate to intervene into Lebanon militarily.George Al-Shami (talk) 03:15, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, they were just a guest who wouldn't leave for 30 years. Jayjg (talk) 04:04, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Occupation. After Lebanon and the Arab League withdrew any mandate, what remained was a naked occupation by force.

Comprimise for name of article?[edit]

The two proposed titles for this article...'Syrian Presence in Lebanon' and 'Syrian Occupation of Lebanon' have been accused of pushing the POV of one side or the other; perhaps 'Syrian Influence in Lebanon' would be a reasonble comprimise? I submit that the term 'presence' is not a realistic representation of the situation from 1975 - 2005. Syria was more than 'present' in Lebanon. Having said that, the Syrian military did not conduct military operations for the purposes of occupying the country at the outset of the Lebanese Civil War. In any case, the term 'influence' would not only (perhaps) settle the argument, but would be able to encompass the broader scope of Syrian foreign policy in Lebanon, including social, economic and cultural impacts (which this article fails to address when discussing Syria in Lebanon as a whole). Also, I think this article could use some help on a number of levels...but before I begin collaborating, are there any thoughts? --Xtcrider 04:49, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Good luck! Palmiro | Talk 18:03, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
The articles title is very accurate. Syria occupied Lebanon for a very long time and they were not very friendly either. They continue to occupy part of the Lebanese parliament by proxy. --Eternalsleeper (talk) 00:15, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I think the current article name is fine, it's similar to Israeli-occupied territories, where they had the same discussion. But if that article's name is some day changed to "presence", or "disputed territories", it would be a different matter. Funkynusayri (talk) 07:22, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Syria's military occupation shouldn't be called "presence" if the West Bank continues to be called "occupied". Same treatment to everybody, that's what Wiki is all about. Lizrael (talk) 12:26, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Syria's military occupation was an occupation, not a presence. Ghazi Kanaan was the Syrian intelligence head in Lebanon who called the shots in Lebanon and nothing went on in the Lebanese parliament without the approval of the Syrians. Not to mention, they set up check points and military outposts throughout all of Lebanon. --Eternalsleeper (talk) 01:35, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, it could be argued that the Lebanese were unable to manage their country, and it's a fact that the country was calmer during the occupation than before and after, but still, it was an occupation. Funkynusayri (talk) 04:50, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
The name of the article is highly inaccurate, Syria entered Lebanon at the request of Lebanese president Elias Sarkis and then secondly, Syria was given a mandate by the Arab League to enter Lebanon. These two moves make the word 'occupation" the wrong word. The article should be called the Syrian military presence. For the sources that call it "syrian occupation", there are the same amount of sources that call it a "military presence". Now for article on the Israeli occupation of south lebanon ..the article is called "South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000)"....and the majority of sources say that this was a true occupation...So you can't have it both ways on Wikipedia..either the latter article gets called the "Israeli occupation of Lebanon" or this article gets its NPOV title that was changed by jayjig, who erroneously calls the views of the same 2 users and himslef as "consensus".George Al-Shami (talk) 02:04, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
You found a couple of sources that used the phrase, that's all. So, you can mention it as an alternative. Jayjg (talk) 03:49, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Continued Occupation[edit]

An article about this issue, and Syrias continued occupation and claim on Lebonese territory has bee written about in the Wall Street Journal. [1] If this newspaper article is correct then it should be included in this entry. -- 13:24, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

As much as I like any article from a major news source which critizes Syria, I would certainly not think this would be sufficient to justify a "continued occupation." I think that it would be fair to say Syrian influence and interference remains in Lebanon through proxies such as people like Emile Lahoud or Michel Aoun, and other politicians that are considered "pro-Syrian" but I am unfamiliar with the claim even from Lebanese, that Syria occupies Lebanese land. I went to Lebanon and I never seen any Syrian army, just construction workers and beggers. Hezbollah is an Iranian proxy, not Syrian. Fatah al-Islam is a mixed terrorist group consisting of many terrorists from the region, certainly Syrians as well.
--Eternalsleeper (talk) 00:11, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I will invest time and work on this article to meet the satisfaction of wikipedia criteria.
--Eternalsleeper (talk) 15:15, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

justiceforlebanon blog[edit]

This link to the "justice for lebanon" blog does not meet WP:V:

Rather than returning it to the page, please find reliable sourcing, or comment further here. Further restorations without Talk: page explanation will be rolled back. Jayjg (talk) 22:26, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

Please stop moving the article without consensus, especially to a title that breaks the naming conventions. Also, please stop inserting mis-formatted material. Jayjg (talk) 03:56, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Jayjig PEASE stop vandalizing this page, and please read the comments by the other editors. Half the editors in this discussion say that the appropriate title is the "syrian presence".therefore other wikipedia editors object to your title..therefore this is not consensus.If the refernces are not properly formated, then tell me how this can be fixed. Don't just delete it!!! Jayjig you are abusing your powers.George Al-Shami (talk) 04:07, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
"Syrian presence", eh? Are we also going to move Israeli-occupied territories to Territories in which Israel has a presence? 6SJ7 (talk) 05:25, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Requested moves for information on how to handle a controversial move. --Elonka 05:36, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

the page "Syrian-Lebanese relations" should not be a redirect to this one because it has far bigger scope than this from prior to the the war and after 2005 as well the interlude. In line with that the redirect should be to the appropriate page.Lihaas (talk) 19:46, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

hypocrisy and double standards[edit]

to 6SJ7 according to international law the West bank and Gaza are occupied territories, whereas the assertion that Syria occupied Lebanon duirng the lebanese civil war and after it, is the view of Zionist politcal think tanks in the US and the view of the current Bush administration and its supporters, not international law. There are a number of editors in Wikipedia who are obviously working for somebody (they get paid), if the Syrian military presence in Lebanon was an occupation, then how come the the 18 year old Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon is being called the "South Lebanon conflict" here in Wikipedia. Check out the article South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000); this event (the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon) was a true occupation because no Lebanese government asked Israel to intervene military, Israel on its own decided to invade and occupy. Nobody gave Israel any mandate, whereas Syria was first given a mandate by the President of Lebanon and then by the Arab League, to which Lebanon belongs to and was a founding member. Therefore Syria was given 2 mandates to intervene militarily in Lebanon, whereas Israel was never given any mandate by anyone to intervene in Southern Lebanon. For this who support the POV title "syrian occupation of lebanon", please visit this article on the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon, which is called by the Zionist editors as the South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000). I ask all responsible editors who believe in Wikipedia's neutrality to take a look into this.George Al-Shami (talk) 19:12, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was No move Parsecboy (talk) 23:09, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Syrian occupation of LebanonSyrian military presence in Lebanon — The use of "occupation" in this case/article is not precise and can be judgmental— HyPerr (talk) 09:49, 2 January 2009 (UTC)


  • Support HyPerr (talk) 10:05, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support George Al-Shami (talk) 20:43, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Multiple reliable sources described it as an "occupation", which is what it factually was. Occupiers often deny they are occupying, but that doesn't stop Wikipedia from describing it that way when reliable sources do; see, for example, Soviet occupation of Romania and Indonesian occupation of East Timor. Jayjg (talk) 21:18, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. meets the criteria for military occupation, and described as such by multiple reliable sources. NoCal100 (talk) 00:06, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose. as per above; it is widely cited and described as an occupation. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:36, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per the sources. 6SJ7 (talk) 04:53, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Sources and official documents refer to it as a Presence. Yazan (talk) 07:34, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Syria occupied Lebanon and interfered with daily life for Lebanese, as a people and as a country. Their chief Ghazi Kanaan was the most powerful man in Lebanon until he killed himself after being questioned in the Rafic Hariri murder probe. It was deemed an occupation by the United Nations which put Syria in violation of two UN resolutions. --Eternalsleeper (talk) 20:37, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support as per HyPerr's argument in the discussion below, I believe the suggested article name is what's best to maintain neutrality. There's no denying that there was military prescence, but labeling it as an occupation is in this case not neutral, as there are supporting and opposing view points -- these must be presented and discussed in the article itself. —Anas talk? 03:22, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support per HyPerr, if the article isn't split or similar. Neutrality should trump all. FunkMonk (talk) 05:41, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. all the sources have long referred to it as an occupation.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 04:26, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - let's called a spade a spade. The reason that in some cases we don't call a territory 'occupied' (per WP:NPOV) is that there can be some dispute as to whether it's really occupied or not, hence using the term would be representing one point of view. In this case, I don't see what the dispute is, and all sources point out that there was a military occupation. -- Ynhockey (Talk) 05:35, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - while some sources do call it a "military presence", more call it an "occupation", including scholarly books (perhaps the most reliable of sources) such as Lebanon: War and Politics in a Fragmented Society, The Iraq War: Hidden Agendas and Babylonian Intrigue, The Lebanon War, The Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa and Middle East Patterns: Places, Peoples, and Politics. That leads me to believe the description is indeed precise and if it is judgmental, it is our duty to reflect the judgment of reliable sources, not impose our own new judgment to counter theirs. - Biruitorul Talk 05:34, 7 January 2009 (UTC)


  • The whole point of an encyclopedia like Wikipedia is to provide the reader with "raw B&W facts" as they are without any colors or paint so that he/she can form a neutral image of the subject, which will of course eventually -inevitably- get painted with POV colors based on his/her backgrounds and perspectives. An example of that is military groups who are referred to sometimes (based on the source) as "terrorist groups". Although Hezbollah, Haganah, Hamas, and Irgun are or were described or considered as "terrorist entities" by many countries, political figures, or the media in general, the role of an encyclopedia is not to judge the actions of those groups or to assign moral or ethical descriptions to them. Hence all these groups are described in Wikipedia as an "Islamic political and paramilitary organization", a "Jewish paramilitary organization", a "paramilitary organization", and a "militant Zionist group" respectively. Of course with the notion in every article that they are/were described as "terrorist groups" by certain entities and that's a fact and not a judgment. There's a big difference between a fact and a judgment as you surely know. This is not the place to publish one's political views. The internet is a vast space and everyone can express those views in any other place but not here. It's really sad to see that many users put a lot of effort in finding sources that describe what happened in Lebanon as an "occupation" instead of trying to enrich the article and try to collect more facts about what happened in that period of time. Now aside from emotions and feelings, although the original definition is not exclusive to this meaning, but the word "occupation" usually has a strong negative tone since it refers almost in all cases to a "belligerent military occupation" that usually involves a hostile army and a continuous military conflict or struggle between two enemies: the occupier and the occupied. That IMHO is completely different from what has happened in Lebanon regardless whether it's good or bad (and the current article supports that). Therefore I believe it's closer to a "mandate" or "military presence" (both can have a positive or negative meaning) than an "occupation" (which mainly has a negative meaning and is judgmental). Take for example the French mandate of Syria: Notice it's called a "mandate" even though it involved a fierce military struggle and it ended with a treaty of independence. Hence it's more qualified to be called "occupation" (with many sources to support that) yet it's still described as "mandate" in Wikipedia. Again just like the Irgun or Hamas example: just because a thousand source is/used to call them "terrorist groups" doesn't mean that Wikipedia should use this definition. It's up to the reader to decide and not to the encyclopedia. Even the American invasion of Iraq is titled "Iraq War" and not "Occupation of Iraq" in Wikipedia. However, mentioning that it's described as an "occupation" by some sources in the article is a fact and not a judgment. HyPerr (talk) 10:05, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Well argued HyPerr, I agree 100% the word occupation should not be used in an encyclopedia to denote prejudiced facts which are in reality the views of political partisans. And what HyPerr just argued can beautifully illustrated in the fact that the partisans behind the current title have no qualms using the word "occupation" for this article, but have reservations about using the same word for articles involving Israel invading neighboring countries. If you check out the article about the Israeli invasion and subsequent occupation of Southern Lebanon, it's called the "South Lebanon 1982-2000 conflict". I whole heartedly support the move to the more neutral label, "Syrian military presence in Lebanon".George Al-Shami (talk) 20:32, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
You mean 1982 Lebanon war. Although this has a tailpiece on the occupation, there is sufficient scope to write Israeli occupation of Lebanon; but that would be on the occupation regime, not the war. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:56, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes exactly Septentrionalis,that's what I meant, I was talking about this article South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000), I edited my earlier response, thanks for the clarification and please read my explanation under the title "hypocrisy and double standards" , which is just above this survey.George Al-Shami (talk) 06:20, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
You might want to compare this article to, among others, Soviet occupation of Romania and Indonesian occupation of East Timor. Jayjg (talk) 22:47, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I quote from the article about Romania: "the Soviet troops continued to treat the Romanians as a hostile force. The armistice was signed three weeks later "on terms Moscow virtually dictated". The coup effectively amounted to a "capitulation", an "unconditional" "surrender" to the Soviets and the rest of the Allies. During that time, between 114,000 and 160,000 Romanian soldiers were taken as prisoners of war by the Soviets without any fight as result of the cease fire order given by King Michael, and sent on foot to camps in the Soviet Union; about a third of them perished on the way" Now assuming it's accepted to use "occupation" in the title of that article, it seems to me that's a total state of war between two countries and it's a totally different case which, can not be used for comparison here. HyPerr (talk) 05:54, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
I second that. Eternalsleeper please provide a source to support your argument.HyPerr

(talk) 03:14, 5 January 2009 (UTC) Syria entered Lebanon to have a peace-keeping military presence which was supported by Lebanese authorities and other Arab states, and only later was it seen as an occupation force, because Syria refused to leave again. Couldn't that mean that the article should really be called "Syrian military presence and occupation of Lebanon" or similar, to be fair? Or even that the article should be split in two to cover each period separately? FunkMonk (talk) 23:21, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

  • To all the users who are using "sources" as their only argument and esp. Jayjg : You are not getting the point of all this. I provided more sources on the side of "military presence" only to prove that this game of finding sources that support or oppose, is endless. I can always find more and you will do too. The point is to discuss the neutrality of the title and whether it's judgmental or not, so please use other arguments. Also, for the title, please refrain from providing "POV sources" that support (or oppose) the "occupation" (like journalist's opinions), or represent only the POV of a political figure (Condoleezza Rice), or belong to a direct part in the Middle East struggle (Lebanon, Israel, Syria, PLO,...). I can provide a thousand source from Syrian, Arab or pro-Arab news media and political figures but that is completely worthless. A source can be reliable but doesn't have to be neutral or unbiased. So please keep it down to well-respected unbiased-as-much-as-possible news media or international organizations in this article and refrain from providing Israeli, Lebanese or Syrian sources. Finally I want to illustrate my view "again" on the difference between a fact and a judgment with some examples: 1- In the CIA The CIA World Factbook 2008 which its title couldn't explain more, and which is used as a resource for research papers, uses the terms "continued military presence" and "Syria's presence in Lebanon" to describe the situation in Lebanon. 2- Rubin, Barry who is a professor at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel and the editor of MERIA described it as "powerful Syrian military presence" in his article "The Military in Contemporary Middle East Politics". As you can see he's from a country directly involved in the struggle in the Middle East, but still, he didn't describe it as "occupation" in this specific article (although I'm sure he did in other articles) simply because it's an analytical article for research purposes describing military facts of the struggling powers in the Middle East and that's how an encyclopedia should be. Don't mix this with Politics.HyPerr (talk) 04:55, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Consensus Decision[edit]

Although I still believe a clear consensus hasn't been reached yet in the above now-archived Move Request, esp. with the poor arguments of the opposing team, but so be it, Wikipedia is not a democracy and the discussion is not over. And btw, I think many of us know the backgrounds of the users opposing to the move and why they are doing it. But hey, that won't stop us, and neutrality WILL prevail.HyPerr (talk) 06:35, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Neutrality will prevail? It has prevailed in the case. If you are going to raise doubts about the intentions of "why they are doing it", let me ask you for the respect of those who were killed and tortured for years under Syrian occupation in Lebanon, what are your intentions? Keeping the notice that we shall assume good faith, no? If it wasn't an occupation perhaps someone can ask the dead Lebanese civilians who were found near Anjar after the Syrians were forced out of Lebanon after the assassination of Rafic Hariri. Syria was for decades violating United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_1559. Perhaps you can look up MTV Lebanon which was forced to shut down and had members arrested for voicing criticism of Syria's presence. Maybe you can do some research of the hundreds of missing and tortured Lebanese political prisoners in Syria, including many who went missing during the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. Syrians entered the Lebanese war as self described peace makers, and at the end they turned their guns against Lebanese. Many Syrians such as the late Hafez Assad do not even recognize Lebanon as a sovereign country, and, although Bashar Assad has tentatively agreed to begin diplomatic relations with Lebanon even he has made statements that undermine Lebanese sovereignty. --Eternalsleeper (talk) 21:42, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

What you don't seem to understand Eternalsleeper is that the argument you made is your view. You came up with the purported negative aspects of the Syrian military presence in Lebanon, but I can come up with positive aspects of this presence, which are the following, 1) Syrian ended the Lebanese civil war by disarming the main militias involved and subduing Michel Aoun; Syria's presence in your country stopped your countrymen from killing each other like hogs, so Syria ended the war. 2) Syria provided a counterweight to the illegal 1982 Israeli invasion of Southern Lebanon, without Syria, Israel would have done whatever she pleased in Lebanon Mr.Eternalsleeper. Therefore if you can come up with negative claims I can come up with positive ones. The fact is according to international law Syria's presence in Lebanon was never an occupation; whereas according to international law Israel's presence in the West Bank and Gaza is indeed an occupation and it is called an occupation. However the view that Syria occupied Lebanon is the view of Zionists, US Zionist think tanks, US Zionist politicians and ignorant Lebanese who are being used by the Zionists. The Zionists wish to portray the Arab world in negative terms as much as possible and they employ the strategy of divide and conquer, by pitting Arab countries against each other. So when ignorant Lebanese state that everything Syrian did in Lebanon was 100% negative, than you know that the Zionists have won and have managed to turn the Lebanese against the Syrians, who are their ethnic and religious brothers. George Al-Shami (talk) 00:51, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
George, what I wrote is the truth and I can present the evidence (or you can Google it). If anyone supported the Syrian occupation in Lebanon it was the Americans themselves until Hariri's assassination. The Syrian presence was one that was deemed illegal by the UN and the Syrians controlled and interfered with daily life in Lebanon. I am glad other editors were also able to come to this logical consensus. Here is not the place to debate about Zionist conspiracies, but if you would like we can speak elsewhere such as by e-mail or msn. Syrian occupation of Lebanon has nothing to do with Zionist conspiracies, majority recognize it was an occupation-- Muslims included, and even Shiites. --Eternalsleeper (talk) 08:39, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
@Eternalsleeper: I'm glad you provided a source this time to support your argument. Yet again -unfortunately- your argument is still emotional and your POV is driven by hatred, and I don't blame you, it's your country we are talking about after all. But again this is not a political forum for people to express their views, it's for people to gather facts and verify them. Let's be clear: There were many controversies over the presence (or mandate if you will) of Syrian military in Lebanon. So we all agree that the Syrian military intervention was legal. But whether it eventually ended up as an "occupation" or not is still -up until this moment- highly controversial, and our discussion is one proof IMO. BTW, Syrian or Arab nationalists won't even agree on calling it a presence, it was a "protection", they would argue. You said: "Syria was for decades violating United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_1559". Simply not true. The resolution was adopted on September 2, 2004. Either A) English is not your first language, or B) You are trying to distort facts. Now if what you meant to say is that Syrian military or Syrian government was for decades carrying out actions that make you or the UN call it an "occupation", then may I suggest that you provide a source supporting that. And since you seem to be someone who believes in and trusts the UN, the "resolution" itself did not call it or even mentioned the term "occupation", yet there are many other resolutions where the UN used that same term. How ironic. Even the Wikipedia article you provided states: "Syria was also in violation of the resolution until recently because of their military presence in Lebanon". "Taif Agreement" uses "presence", and even this "whitehouse Fact Sheet". Oh right, according to your logic "If anyone supported the Syrian occupation in Lebanon it was the Americans themselves" and half the world was complicit in that crime. Who's the conspiracy theorist now! Even the Taif Agreement became an agreement designed to " legitimize the Syrian occupation of Lebanon" Sounds weird ha!! Believe me when you start working on this article (as you stated on your talk page) I'll be more than happy to help you with the research regardless of the facts. And YES Syrian military committed many shameful deeds there and this is a fact, and facts are sacred". P.S. It seems to me you still don't know the difference between conspiracy theory and propaganda. Maybe George would want you to read more and "more" HyPerr (talk) 20:05, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Enternalsleeper What I argued is not a conspiracy it is a fact, please read about Daniel Pipes and Alan Dershowitz and read articles about them outside of Wikipedia. On his campus watch page, Pipes explains the need to inform students that Syria's presence in Lebanon was an "occupation"; that my friend is not a conspiracy..there's the proof and the source you need. Pipes is an ardent Zionist and his academic work over 3 decades has defended every position right wing Israeli politicians and their governments have taken in the past. Besides HyPerr's excellent references, please find out about the these two Zionist apologetics.George Al-Shami (talk) 01:06, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Reading through these last two discussions, I think both were overly injected with personal thoughts and emotions on the subject. First, the term occupation has come to have an overly negative connotation in the eyes of some, due to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. That, however, is not an accurate understanding of the word. For example, there is an article on the Allied occupation of Germany, which many would argue had a positive outcome – namely, the reunification and rise of a stable Germany. The term occupation, by itself, is not necessarily negative. Second, no one seems to actually be paying attention to Wikipedia's naming conventions, just throwing out broad arguments for or against either position based on a vague understanding of the actual policies. Regardless of which side you support, you should be framing your arguments to match the corresponding Wikipedia policy. For the record, Wikipedia's policy on the names of articles such as this one is covered under Wikipedia's naming conventions for events. This states that:
  1. If there is a particular common name for the event, it should be used even if it implies a controversial point of view.
  2. If there is no common name for the event, and there is a generally accepted word used when identifying the event, the title should include the word even if it is a strong one such as "massacre" or "genocide" or "war crime". However, to keep article names short, avoid including more words than are necessary to identify the event. For example, the adjective "terrorist" is usually not needed.
  3. If there is no common name for the event and no generally accepted descriptive word, use a descriptive name that does not carry POV implications. See above for how to create a descriptive name.
I believe part of the confusion here is due to not reading or understanding this policy. In order to gain support for the renaming of this article, editors need to (a) provide evidence that the common name for this event was "military presence", and not "occupation", or (b) provide evidence that there is no common name for the event, but that the term "military presence" is more generally accepted than the term "occupation", or (c) make the case that there is neither a common name for the event, nor a generally accepted name for the event, and that the term "military presence" is less controversial than "occupation". Unfortunately for those in favor of the rename, there's ample evidence that the term "occupation" is either the common name, per item #1 above, or the generally accepted term, per item #2 (a quick Google search shows a definite prevalence of one term over the other). Per policy, the possible implications of the word occupation are irrelevant, as the common name should be used "even if it implies a controversial point of view", and the generally accepted word should be used "even if it is a strong one such as 'massacre' or 'genocide' or 'war crime'." There could be a case made to use the word "military presence" if one could prove that the word "occupation" was neither the common name, nor the generally accepted name, for this event (regardless of whether it carries POV implications). The burden is on those seeking to change the name to show this. ← George [talk] 06:20, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with George Al-Shami's argument and support renaming the article to "Syrian military presence in Lebanon". In response to the last comment by GEORGE who asserts there is a definate prevalence - confirmed by Google, of the term "Syrian occupation of Lebanon", the Google count for "Syrian occupation of Lebanon" is 6,110, the count for "military presence in Lebanon" (virtually all results referencing this) is 30,300 and the count for "Syrian presence in Lebanon" (results clearly referencing this) is 10,800, so there is a clear prevalence of referring to it as a military presence not an occupation. Secondly, GEORGE's assertion that this article is covered under Wikipedia's naming conventions for events is incorrect, those guidelines apply to "events and incidents, such as military conflicts, terrorist attacks, transportation accidents, natural disasters, and the like." and the examples given are all "events"... of an ephemeral nature. A 29 year long military presence therefore, is a different issue. The article should be renamed. Izzedine (talk) 10:04, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
"Syrian occupation of Lebanon" currently returns 6,480 hits. Your query for "military presence in Lebanon" is fundamentally flawed, because most sources will discuss the Israeli military presence in Lebanon. A query for "Syrian presence in Lebanon" of sites that do not call the presence an occupation returns only 4,760 (you neglected to remove the queries that call it an occupation and a presence).
There is nothing in the policy page stating that only ephemeral events are covered. The page specifically says that it applies to things like "military conflicts", which can last for an extended period of time. If you think another naming convention is more appropriate, cite it. ← George [talk] 14:11, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move George Al-Shami (talk) 00:38, 9 August 2009 (UTC) User who voted in support of the move may not close the debate, especially in same direction as voted.

The result is no consensus, numerically, arguments-wise, and in light of previous discussion. No consensus = no move. -- Y not? 03:15, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Syrian occupation of LebanonSyrian military presence in Lebanon — Per reasons given above by myself and others. Izzedine (talk) 10:22, 2 August 2009 (UTC)


  • Support - Izzedine (talk) 10:32, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I see no new information presented since this same discussion took place six months ago. I think the same arguments that editors made then still apply now. ← George [talk] 14:19, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - Regardless of how terrible it was, it certainly was not an occupation. The army was there on specific requests from the Lebanese government then, and no official request for it to leave was ever presented. Military presence and an article that describes it, and the politics (or lackthereof) of it, is more appropriate. Yazan (talk) 14:22, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
I actually don't think it's an exceptionally accurate term, but I think it's the most common term used by reliable sources, which is what matters from Wikipedia's standpoint. Verifiability, not truth.George [talk] 14:46, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid both names have Reliable sources claiming them, except one describes the situation, while the other is simply POV (many of the results of the "Syrian occupation in lebanon" google search are of anti-syrian lebanese blogs). There is obviously not a scholarly consensus that this is a belligerent occupation (unlike say the Golan Heights). That's how i see it, and I voted accordingly. Yazan (talk) 15:19, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Addendum. Before the Hariri assassination you'd be hard pressed to find ANY reference to it as an occupation, which obviously means that the term is not an NPOV description but rather a political one. Yazan (talk) 15:22, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Addendum2. Is there any official governmental documents that refer to it as an occupation? Even after Syria left? I think not. Yazan (talk) 15:26, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Addendum3. Google search for Arabic of "Syrian presence in Lebanon" ("الوجود السوري في لبنان") returns an overwhelming majority of 4,100,000 results while search for "Syrian occupation of Lebanon", ("الاحتلال السوري للبنان") returns 2,080. Need I say more? Does that fulfill the Verifiability, not truth. requirement? Yazan (talk) 15:30, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not completely opposed to the move, but many of the reasons you're citing just aren't valid. Article titles can use POV words, if they are commonly used. It doesn't matter what it was called 5 years ago, it only matters what it's called now. The last survey that was done of scholarly reliable source found an even higher preference for "occupation" than "presence". I haven't seen any documents that discussion the Syrian troops being in Lebanon period. The English Wikipedia only cares about what English sources call it - the Arabic sources help determine the title of the article on the Arabic Wikipedia. Again, I'm not completely against this move, I just haven't seen any definite reasons to support a move over the current title. I think the South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000) not being labeled something like "Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon" is probably a bigger issue. ← George [talk] 01:55, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Support per Yazan. Also, I don't think it's fair to call it occupation which would liken it to say the Israeli occupation of the West Bank which is internationally recognized and condemned by the whole Palestinian government whereas the Syrian presence in Lebanon was not internationally recognized as an occupation and around half of the Lebanese government and maybe people didn't consider it an occupation. --Al Ameer son (talk) 20:14, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Syria was given 2 mandates. First from the president of the country Elias Sarkis in 1976 and then by the Arab League. You cannot call a military intervention that was REQUESTED by the country in question as an "occupation"! Whereas no one asked Israel to intervene militarily in the West Bank and Gaza! The failure of the international community and international law to call the Syrian military intervention an "occupation" speak volumes about the nature of the Syrian military intervention that was requested by Lebanon! The assertion that Syria occupied Lebanon is an opinion made by Zionist editors and academics who want to switch the debate away from Israel's occupation of PalestineGeorge Al-Shami (talk) 20:50, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, per al-Shami, it was an occupation during the last part of the presence, but not during the entire period. FunkMonk (talk) 21:31, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose—my previous oppose still stands. let's call a spade a spade. The reason that in some cases we don't call a territory 'occupied' (per WP:NPOV) is that there can be some dispute as to whether it's really occupied or not, hence using the term would be representing one point of view. In this case, I don't see what the dispute is, and all sources point out that there was a military occupation. There are some sources that don't call it an occupation outright, but also no sources I have seen that dispute this. —Ynhockey (Talk) 23:20, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
But as Yazan presented most sources say "military presence" and not occupation. The Syrians were invited by the president of Lebanon and the Arab League to intervene in the conflict. Only much later (~two decades) was occupation being used by some sources to describe the military presence. As for the Lebanese people, many if not half, didn't view the Syrians as occupiers. --Al Ameer son (talk) 02:23, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per George. This has been discussed, at length, earlier this year, and no new arguments have been put forth to change that decision. LoverOfTheRussianQueen (talk) 00:25, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Per FunkMonk. The case for it being an occupation is stronger after 1986, which partially explains the increasing usage of the word, but as the article covers the previous decade, a word that uncontroversially applies to both periods is preferable.John Z (talk) 06:23, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 02:15, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above.ShamWow (talk) 22:15, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This could be discussed all over on a yearly basis--but without any new ideas that wouldn't make much sense. --tickle me 00:34, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
What's the defense of keeping "occupation" as the official title of the article? No one has replied to any of the numerous threads above except for the one on sources, but I believe Yazan has clearly shown that the overwhelming number of them say "presence" or "military presence" and a small number of them say "occupation." Many of the users who are voting oppose are basically saying "no new ideas" so keep it the way it is. What's the reply to the fact that the Syrian army was invited by the Lebanese government to quell/calm/whatever the situation was and even until they withdrew in 2005 there was a solid amount of Lebanese who did not oppose the Syrians. --Al Ameer son (talk) 01:31, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
As I stated earlier in the previous discussion section, the common name among English sources is "occupation" - Yazan only shows that the overwhelming majority of Arabic sources support the term "military presence". English Wikipedia's article titles are based on English sources, and English sources only. The Arabic sources are only useful for determining the title of this article on the Arabic Wikipedia. ← George [talk] 06:57, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry to be a bother, but could you provide some of the reliable English sources here, because I can't find them all in the discussion (I admit I didn't look hard). Anyhow, we're talking about reliable sources i.e. news sites, books, and governmental designations not blog sites and the like, right? --Al Ameer son (talk) 07:05, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Ameer a list of Sources for both claims is already in the Notes section of the article. Yazan (talk) 07:08, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Oops, thanks for pointing that out. You have (and these are the reliable sources) CBC News, Condi Rice (on behalf of US govt.), Robert Fisk, Phillip Bell, Antoine Abraham, Stephen Stedman, and eight other authors saying "occupation" while the BBC, Al-Jazeera, Fox News, New York Times, Wahshington Post, MSNBC, CIA Factbook, Human Rights Watch, PBS, Barry Rubin, and the Daily Star (Lebanon)—overwhelmingly news sources—saying "presence". How could we make the move to occupation when the great majority of reliable news sources don't refer to it as that? Most of the "occupation" sources are individual authors who are allowed to express their own POVs (and the US govt. which was obviously at great odds with Syria at the time shouldn't be used as one of the decision makers in the naming of this article), while news sources, like Wikipedia, must stick to NPOV—a pillar—and so say "military presence". Most news sources say occupation of the Palestinian territories and Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, but they don't say the same of Syria and Lebanon. --Al Ameer son (talk) 07:32, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia's naming conventions for events, the policy I believe best suits this article, states that:
  1. If there is a particular common name for the event, it should be used even if it implies a controversial point of view.
  2. If there is no common name for the event, and there is a generally accepted word used when identifying the event, the title should include the word even if it is a strong one such as "massacre" or "genocide" or "war crime". However, to keep article names short, avoid including more words than are necessary to identify the event. For example, the adjective "terrorist" is usually not needed.
  3. If there is no common name for the event and no generally accepted descriptive word, use a descriptive name that does not carry POV implications. See above for how to create a descriptive name.
This policy further defines its terms:
A common name... exists if most English speakers who are aware of the topic call it the same thing.
A generally accepted word is a word for which there is consensus, among scholars in the real world, on its applicability to the event.
Now, note that per item #1, we look at what English speakers refer to the event as - not what just reliable sources refer to it as, and not what people refer to it as in other languages (such as Arabic). I view a broad Google search as the best indicator of what English speakers call the event. Additionally, note that per item #2 we look at scholarly sources after most English speakers. If you search Google Scholar, I think you'll find that "occupation" is more prevalent than "military presence" among scholarly sources. ← George [talk] 08:18, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Please at least change the title to Syrian military presence in Lebanon to agree with MOS on titles. gren グレン 00:58, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Reaction to the closure of the above debate[edit]

who are you to say no consensus arguments-wise, there was a vote, you are one biased administrator. This needs to be looked into.George Al-Shami (talk) 05:33, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

I am an administrator, closing a move debate. It's my job to evaluate arguments and decide whether there is consensus. -- Y not? 05:37, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
There was no vote. There was a poll -- WP:Consensus says "Polls are structured discussions, not votes.". 8 to 6 is definitely not a consensus, and I see that George Al-Shami is looking around for another administrator. No need to look any further, I can confirm that there was no consensus and the article should not be moved. I also note the personal attack on the closing Admin. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougweller (talkcontribs) 09:44, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Right, i'm the person who proposed the move, and I see we have a majority who disagree with the current name, so on that basis why should we keep the current name. The status quo has been unendorsed in favour of a more neutral title. Either the move goes ahead or we begin mediation. Izzedine (talk) 04:15, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Izzedin, I personally support the move, but this is not how it's done here. This was not a vote, there needed to be a near complete consensus for the page to be moved, and 8-6 i no where near that. Yazan (talk) 13:38, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Then my suggestion is to opt for mediation and let a third party assess the matter. Izzedine (talk) 13:52, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Izzedine, the admin is the neutral "third party". And mediation will result in nothing more than supporting the admin's actions. Consensus is not a vote. Consensus means that nearly all of the editors support something. 5 to 4 is not consensus. 9-1 is consensus. (Taivo (talk) 15:29, 11 August 2009 (UTC))

Silly sourcing of article lead[edit]

The introduction to this article has two reference tags, each of which contains twenty or thirty sources using one name or the other. There's no purpose to it. The sources aren't used to cite any information, just to show that one name or the other is used. We all agree that both terms are used from time to time by reliable sources, so all the references are pointless. Does anyone have a valid reason to keep them? ← George [talk] 00:58, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes they should be kept, because on wikipedia if there is an opposing thought or idea to a political article, there needs to be proof of this. And the sources that point to a "presence" have to be there in order to show proof that that other media organizations and scholars oppose the scholars who are in favor of using the word "occupation". Please do not change the status quo, until a consensus has been reached.George Al-Shami (talk) 01:05, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Do you have any evidence that anyone who calls it a "military presence" opposes the term "occupation"? If I call something a "car", does that mean that I oppose calling it an "automobile"? And who, among the editors on this page, claims that either term isn't used? Editors have disputes about what to title the article, but I'm aware of no editor who claims that nobody calls it an occupation, nor am I aware of any editor who claims that nobody calls it a military presence. We don't cite things just to cite them, and we don't cite a single term with 20-30 sources. ← George [talk] 01:12, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
George you said it yourself that Wikipedia works with the number of sources yourself right, therefore where's the harm in allowing users to see sources who call it a "presence". Why do you want to deny them the right of viewing the sources and making the decision for themselves as to wether it was an "occupation" or a "presence".George Al-Shami (talk) 01:34, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
That's not how Wikipedia works. Sources dictate content. Controversial content requires citing reliable sources to support the controversial claims. Sources shouldn't be used as weapons to hammer your (or any) POV into the reader's head. ← George [talk] 04:44, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I warned George Al-Shami when he hit 3RR, and his response was to report me to the 3RR board for closing the move debate (which of course I didn't do) and to revert a 4th time. He's been blocked for 31 hours by another Administrator. Note that this is not a comment on content but on edit warring. Dougweller (talk) 05:16, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Just my 2c about why I initiated the removal of those mass footnotes: I honestly do not care what we call the situation in the end, but I care about two things: (1) the two alternative descriptions currently under discussion ("occuption" vs. "military presence") are not historical proper names, they are mere descriptive phrases consisting of common nouns. As such, they are not subject to analysis in terms of synonyms; hence, presenting them as if they were alternative names is wrong. (2) Counting and documenting large numbers of web quotes may have a place in editorial discussion, in order to determine common English usage, but that is not something to overload the article itself with. Having mass footnote lists in articles serves no other purpose than to erect a monument to the editors' internal POV-warring. Whenever, as a reader, I see more than two or maximally three footnotes for the same thing in an article, I know that the article has been a playground of POV-pushers. If it turns out that "occupation" is the predominantly used description for this event, let's start the article with that phrase; if people like the other phrase, there's nothing wrong with simply using it in the next sentence ("The Syrian occupation of Lebanon occurred betweeen ... . Syria kept a military presence ....") Fut.Perf. 06:07, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

I totally agree. Neither term should be sourced out the wazoo like that. ← George [talk] 06:27, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I actually agree with this reasoning now. Nonetheless, the name issue should be discussed in the body of the article, because it's a controversial issue, and there's plenty of sources that specifically discuss whether it was an occupation or not. Not that the rest of the article is any better, but... eh! Yazan (talk) 08:31, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
If there are reliable sources discussing whether or not the term occupation is appropriate, I fully support the inclusion of a section discussing that. But you're correct, that's a different issue than whether or not we need to list 20+ sources for each term used to describe this. ← George [talk] 08:50, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

George Lebanese bebe (talk) 11:47, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

The United Nations has a long history of urging foreign troops, including Israeli, Syrian, and Palestinian fighters, out of Lebanon. In 1978, U.N. Resolutions 425-427 called for Israeli troops to withdraw from Lebanon; in 1982, after the second Israeli invasion, the Security Council passed a raft of resolutions, including 508, 509, and 515-521, deploring the violence of that year and asking all parties to cease fighting and withdraw their troops. Since Israel pulled out in 2000, attention has focused again on Syrian troops. U.N. Resolution 1559, passed in September 2004, is the latest Security Council action on foreign presence in Lebanon. What does Resolution 1559 say?

Resolution 1559, sponsored by the United States and France and supported by Lebanese reformers like Hariri, calls for "foreign forces" to leave Lebanon and end their interference in Lebanese affairs.

So it is an occupation. Lebanese bebe (talk) 12:00, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Muslims attack Christians?[edit]

When the PLO were in Lebanon this caused problems not only for the Christians but for the Muslims as well. There were Muslims allied with the Christians against the PLO. The lead on this article was completely wrong. The LEBANESE requested Syrian intervention to stop the PLO, initially the Syrians and PLO fought one another or did u forget this. Only when did the civil war break out, when the PLO attempted to kill Bachir Gemayl did the war turn into a Christian vs. Muslim thing. And even after this u are forgetting the Druze as well. They were allied with the PLO. And some Muslims even during the war were still allied with the Christians. May I remind you of Amal and the war of the camps and so on. Please dont distort Lebanese history Lebanese bebe (talk) 11:44, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

List of irrelevant references[edit]

Would the person who continues to insist on the inclusion of dozen of irrelevant references please be so kind as to justify their inclusion? Those sources are only there to push the conflicting POVs for the title of the article. They are not cited within the body of the article, nor do they add any useful content to the article. They are simply long lists of POV-pushing references. (Taivo (talk) 02:27, 14 August 2009 (UTC))

I wholly disapprove of removing these sources, because they provide considerable insight and details of the article itself. (talk) 22:26, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Under which Wikipedia policy do you think it should be included? The burden of proof is on those attempting to add material, not those attempting to remove it. ← George [talk] 22:31, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
If these sources added anything at all to the article, then they would be used as footnotes in the article text. Instead they are just two sets of competing quotes to prove the POVs of the title of the article. They add nothing whatsoever of material content to the article's content. (Taivo (talk) 22:53, 14 August 2009 (UTC))

Occupation and presence[edit]

It seems the article DISCUSSES whether or not the presence is an occupation or not, yet the title and lead just state "occupation." If you read the rest of the article, the word "presence" is used in every paragraph. This is a very poorly written article and it seems there is only debate over the lead and title which are quite irrelevant since the rest of the article contradicts both. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tatabox89 (talkcontribs) 22:21, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Firstly, the article doesn't really discuss that, because a discussion would need two sides. So far, the majority of sources call it an occupation and there's no explanation in any source brought so far why it's not an occupation. Secondly, it's a simple WP:MOS issue; the lead sentence quite simply must reflect the title of the article. I am therefore reverting the edit and requesting further sources—if it is shown that the majority of sources do not refer to it as an occupation (something unlikely as we've had this discussion several times, including two move requests), we can open another move discussion. However, it would be pointless to open one having the same sources as the last time. —Ynhockey (Talk) 14:46, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Just so I understand, you are of the opinion that if most sources use "Y occupation of X" Wikipedia should refer to it as "Y occupation of X"? nableezy - 15:21, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
No, I am explaining the reason why the article is titled the way it is, and that per WP:MOS the lede must reflect the article title. Please read my earlier comment again. —Ynhockey (Talk) 15:29, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I have read your earlier comment, and some of the other ones as well. Such as your comment in the requested move above. You argue that we dont use the term if it is "disputed". If that is all you want, here you go. If you would like to argue, for obvious reasons, that if the term "occupied" if disputed by the occupier then perhaps you should revisit your support for the title of this article. The same is true for the articles on the Jordanian occupation of the West Bank and Egyptian occupation of the Gaza Strip. I of course would not make such an argument as I think it is manifestly silly. One can find a source disputing almost anything, including that the earth is round. But if you wish to make such an argument please do it without regard to who is the occupying force. nableezy - 15:53, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - I strongly object to the word "occupation" in the title. It implies military occupation. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 20:15, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

And that what it was.The military was present in parts of Lebanon--Shrike (talk)/WP:RX 07:01, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Intervention on request from Maronit eleaders[edit]

This article appears to hide the fact that Syria invaded because Maronite leaders at the time begged them to intervene on their behalf against the Palestinians. See for example this cable.[2] This needs to be changed. FunkMonk (talk) 13:25, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

That was indeed the case.GreyShark (dibra) 16:46, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
The actual situation is far more complex than you're going to learn by reference to a single primary source cable from Wikileaks. Syria never recognized Lebanon as an independent state, and played a crucial role in instigating the sectarian violence that it later cited as a justification for intervention, all as part of Hafez Assad's plan to absorb Lebanon into "Greater Syria." A balanced account would make clear that Syria both supported and opposed the PLO at various times throughout the Lebanese civil war, and its decision to deny the Lebanese Left a victory in 1976 was motivated less by Assad's humanitarian values and more by the understanding that a Left-dominated Lebanon would not be amenable to Syrian hegemony. Similarly, although Syrian troops initially fought alongside the Christians, they later brutally suppressed Christian elements that threatened Syrian rule. (Bashir Gemayel, later assassinated by Syria so that his brother Amin could accede to the presidency, provoked Assad's siege of the Greek Catholic city of Zahlé as part of his strategy of luring Israel into the Lebanese war.) Nor is the Syrian pretext "hidden": The lead quite clearly says "Syria claims these interventions came in response to appeals from Christian villagers under attack by Leftists in Lebanon."TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 20:44, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Title of this article is not accurate[edit]

First of all no one in the Arab world calls it an occupation but for few, even the Lebanese themselves do not call it occupation, second, the Syrian troops intervention in Lebanon was a legal action taken by the so called Arab League, and even then the Arab League created the Arab Deterrent Force for peacekeeping, and the peacekeeping force was mainly consisting of Syrian forces. So I propose a change to the article title, to something like Syrian Intervention in Lebanon, or Syrian Presence in Lebanon. SyrianLion (talk) 16:45, 30 December 2016 (UTC) It was defrnitely a occuation - The use of force was used against Lebanese citizens — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:18, 4 September 2019 (UTC)