On August 18, 2000 in his Lebanese Bulletin No. 166 General Aoun invites the Lebanese
leaders interested in saving their country to a round table discussion because
"salvation is in the unification of vision and effort..."
He warned them that the eliminations of political forces with a popular basis is ongoing and will eventually reach each and every one of them if they do not stand up and speak up against it.
Today with the elimination of not just the political leaderships but of Lebanon as a whole we re-publish this Bulletin and wonder if the remaining Lebanese leaders will unify vision and effort to save the country or will they shy away till no one is left to speak up?
Lebanese Bulletin No. 166 18Aug 2000
Beyond the Elections
After a quarter of a century of troubles and crises in Lebanon, and with the general failure of its people and institutions, as well as a nation, it is clear that every Lebanese must do a soul-searching and ask himself what is it in the end that they have accomplished. It is our belief that the Lebanese people have the capability and the knowledge to decide for themselves what they want and what they do not want, and they know the way to get there.
It is no important at this stage to find out who was right and who was wrong. Now is not the time for accounting, and everyone knows that salvation is in the unification of vision and effort. And that won't happen unless the Lebanese meet around a table to discuss and synthesize what constitutes their choices and helps them avoid the evil of separation and division. In this manner they would have laid the foundations for a model nation with all the values to embrace everyone.
Success and failure in these elections is moot so long as the bases are corrupt, for the winners will not represent the people any more than the losers, and the losers won't represent the people any less than the winners. Both sides are a set of pawns that are assembled and separated at will by both overt and covert hands. The value of these elections, then, is not in their outcome, but rather in the events leading to them, their denunciation by the candidates, and the breakdown of the Mafia code of silence (Omerta). The Lebanese discovered in these elections that they indeed live in a dictatorship wearing a mask of virtual democracy.
The elimination of political forces with a popular basis is ongoing. It does not augur well for a bright future to a people whose leadership is isolated in order to impose on it chaos and the loss of its character. For as the country falls prey to chaos, it becomes easier to control the people and lead them like sheep into the stall.
What is required is therefore a meeting of the Lebanese leaders who want Lebanon as a nation in order to define the pact that makes this nation and its foundations. No external relations can supersede these foundations, nor can internal relations. An end must be put to the decline resulting from this imbalance of relations, and which is taking the country down to its demise.
We also must define a charter of the fundamental rights of the citizen that guarantees that no individual shall ever be enslaved by fear or want, and never be held hostage to complete a formality or settle a violation, and never see his or her interests threatened because he or she expressed their opinion.
I call on the Lebanese leadership to such a meeting in Beirut if I am allowed to go to them. But if it is not possible to meet in Beirut, then let it be in Paris or in any other city. This meeting will not be against anyone, it is simply a reaching out for better relations with ourselves first, because only when we establish good relations with ourselves that we are able to have good relations with others.
Silent majorities encourage great crimes and human disasters. Let me conclude with the revelation made by the German minister Martin Neumuller when he spoke about the increasing crimes in Nazi Germany, saying, "When they arrested the Communists, I did not say anything because I was not a Communist. When they came for the Socialists, I did not say anything because I was not a Socialist. And when they took away the leaders of the syndicates, I was not a syndicate leader and so I did not say anything. Then they came for the Jews and I did not say anything because I was not a Jew. So when they finally came to take me away, there was no one left to say anything".
General Michel Aoun