Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian,
Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France
We hold in the highest esteem France’s historical concern for Lebanon and its people and are profoundly aware of the affection that binds together the Lebanese and French citizens, in view of their shared cultural values of freedom, human rights, and social justice.
Greater Lebanon, which had mirrored the aspirations and creative spirit of the Lebanese since its inception in 1920, based on a rich heritage with historical roots stretching back thousands of years, Dear Mr. Le Drian, has been hijacked and is being tortured.
It has been hijacked by political stakeholders that have become professionals at suspending the constitution, controlling the judiciary, legalizing corruption, excluding competence, violating sovereignty, fostering sectarianism and confessionalism, squandering resources, exploiting Lebanon’s Arab and international friendships before destroying them, and impoverishing and starving its people.
On October 17, 2019, the Lebanese people started a revolution, and embarked on what they know will be a difficult journey to free their country from its hijackers: the politicians, financiers, economists, and violators of its sovereignty. They also know how difficult it will be to restore the clean and sovereign state, after the tremendous damage it has repeatedly suffered at the hands of those factions.
Mr. Le Drian,
We have listened, with great attention and with deep sorrow, to your message to the political stakeholders in Lebanon: “Help yourselves that we can help you”. The fundamental problem here is that you still hope that those political stakeholders represent Lebanon and the Lebanese citizens. Meanwhile, the truth, as confirmed before public opinion everywhere, is that those political stakeholders have lost their popular legitimacy, as well as the representative legitimacy they claim to hold. How can such a claim stand, when more than half the Lebanese failed to vote in the last parliamentary elections in 2018, and when fundamental doubts have been raised about an electoral law that was tailor-made for these same corrupt political stakeholders? In any case, the October 17 Revolution has exposed the illusion that these stakeholders have any legitimacy at all.
Mr. Le Drian,
The Lebanese are keen to move forward with their choice to free their country and reclaim their state, and they call upon France to listen to their outcry and to consider their struggle to uphold the following fundamental principles:
1. Lebanon is a civic state entrusted with the proper management of its diverse constituents within a framework of inclusive citizenship that would embrace diversity, would be protected by every provision of the constitution, and would bolster the country’s cultural model of diversity. The political stakeholders in power have destroyed this model.
2. The Lebanese state is capable of asserting its sovereignty with its own legitimate military and security forces, to preserve its security and defend its borders. It is bound to protect its national security in keeping with its higher national interests and to refuse any violation of its sovereignty.
3. Lebanon is one of the founding members of both the United Nations and the Arab League and abides by all their relevant resolutions, covenants and treaties. As per its National Pact of 1943, Lebanon seeks to remain neutral in regional and international conflicts and tensions. The political parties in power have eviscerated this pact, as well as the Taef agreement that protects it.
4. Lebanon has an abundance of competences and potential, and its citizens are capable of establishing an open and transparent administration, an independent judiciary, a flourishing and sustainable economy, effective sovereignty, and comprehensive social protection – all because they aspire to “Good Governance”. The political stakeholders have obliterated those aspirations.
5. The Lebanese state is capable of achieving structural and sectoral reforms, not because of its need for financial assistance, but based on the conviction that the common good and human dignity are fundamental to its people’s prosperity, and to their respect both for the history of their founding fathers and for future generations.
Mr. Le Drian,
We highly value the concern France has historically shown for Lebanon, providing it with support and siding with its sovereignty, independence, and unity. We are also thankful to France for all the initiatives it has launched to try to save Lebanon. Yet it is now important for it to verify that the corrupt political stakeholders holding power there have lost their legitimacy and that the Lebanese, each from their own position in a National Civic Front, are now moving to reconstitute their governing structures. It would be useful to listen to what they have to say. Meanwhile, reprimanding the political stakeholders has proven to have no more than a temporary effect, as they insist on destroying Lebanon while claiming to represent it, and they have faced the revolution of the Lebanese with repression and arrest in a malicious confrontation.
Lebanon has been hijacked, and we the Lebanese want to free our country and reclaim an honorable state. Lebanon is collapsing. There is no electricity, no water, no infrastructure, no telecommunication, no transportation facilities, and an enormous difficulty in continuing to obtain educational and health services. Even the lowest essentials of life in it are now non-existent … We are helping ourselves, but we want you to help us overcome the dichotomy of either having the political stakeholders in power or falling into a complete vacuum. They themselves are the vacuum, the absence of vision, and the absence of leadership. The Lebanese are capable of having their independent vision, their independent plans, and their independent leaderships.
Mr. Le Drian,
If we have addressed this letter to you, it does not at all mean that we are calling on France to intervene in favor of one party against another. Rather, we are invoking the historical friendship between our two countries, to urge France to advise, help and push, so as to overcome the obstinacy and denial of its officials to our commands and their hold on to power and help lay the foundations for saving our Lebanon, your Lebanon – the country that holds all of the humanitarian, cultural and civilizational values which France saw in it early on, in the first decades of the 20th century. France fostered those values and gave them the political space and brotherly support they needed to make Lebanon the crown jewel of the Middle East.
Mr. Le Drian, this jewel is being hijacked and stolen today. Will you answer the distress call, to save Lebanon and its wealth of people? Will you listen to them?!
Civic Influence Hub
Member of the Civic National Front
Beirut July 22, 2019
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