LF Letter to Congress: Ill-Founded at Best (By Marlene Sabeh)

LF Letter to Congress: Ill-Founded at Best

Once again, the President of the Lebanese Republic General Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri came through for Lebanon and formed the new government after months of democratic talks and peaceful negotiations. Once again, they overcame intricate obstacles and major drawbacks to ensure that Lebanon is well represented by a government that would lead the country toward its long awaited reform and desired peace. All this did not happen without scrutiny and criticism; yet, the strong tenure never wavered and kept assiduously working toward achieving its goals. We celebrate today the formation of the new government and look forward to a new era of stability, prosperity, and peace.

Disconcerting though is the fact that the Lebanese Forces still seek to hinder the efforts of the President and look to create the appearance of failure and unsubstantiated impending turmoil caused by the composition of the new government. In their recent letter to U.S. Congress, the Lebanese Forces attempt to incite doubt in the roles of the Lebanese Armed Forces, UNIFIL, the President, and the Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministers. All this in the hopes to acquire the support and approval of the Government of the United States to gain a longed-for popularity in the Christian communities of Lebanon; an aspiration that never materialized but kept slipping away with the increased popularity and success of President Aoun’s Strong Bloc. It is apparent that the Lebanese Forces are not willing to recognize that they only represent a (very) small minority of Christians in Lebanon.

What the Lebanese Forces chose not to highlight in their letter are the consistent and diligent efforts of President Aoun and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gebran Bassil to obtain the support and instrumental aid of the U.S. Government and how in the process, they solidified the bilateral relations between Lebanon and the United States. What the Lebanese Forces failed to mention is the unquestionable alliance between Lebanon and the U.S., made possible by the laudable efforts of President Aoun and the distinguished contributory accomplishments of Minister Bassil. What the Lebanese Forces “forgot” to acknowledge is the remarkable work of the Ambassador of Lebanon to the United States H.E. Gabriel Issa who has been unswervingly building and strengthening relations with U.S. Senators, Congressmen, and other high-ranking officials from all states by opening direct lines of conversations, inviting them to dinners at the embassy in Washington, and sharing with them crucial information about the Lebanese army, UNIFIL, the safe and dignified return of Syrian refugees to their homeland, the security of Lebanon’s borders and most significantly, the momentous impact of U.S. aid on Lebanon. All these efforts went unnoticed in the Lebanese Forces’ statement, in an attempt to undermine their magnitude and vilify their positive impact on the Lebanese-U.S. relations. Fortunately, the truth always prevails. The truth is the Lebanese President and his Strong Bloc have been faithfully and tenaciously working toward gaining U.S. support for the Lebanese army, strengthening the role of UNIFIL, alleviating the effect of U.S. sanctions on Lebanese banks, advocating for the safe return of Syrian refugees to Syria, safeguarding Lebanon’s sovereignty, and increasing the interfaith dialogue among all sects to unite the Lebanese and infuse them with the sense of solidarity and tolerance.

Therefore, the distrust in the Lebanese government that the Lebanese Forces are trying to implant is ill-founded at best. Their letter to Congress does not relay the real image of Lebanon’s successful and noble journey toward preserving its independence and strengthening its economy. It is yet another desperate attempt to impinge on the honorable and successful achievements of our strong president. In its accusatory and defeated tone, it is nothing but a failed tactic to taint our democracy; Its purpose being to convey a wrong sense of fragmentation and a false image of a national conflict.

We know that under the tenure of President Aoun, his “son-in-law”, and Prime Minister Hariri, Lebanon is and will always be strong and united. We feel confident that better days are coming. As Lebanese-Americans, we are standing for our government, we are standing for our Lebanon, we are standing for our president. We are supporting his efforts and tenure for a better, stronger, and more united Lebanon.

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