Well, we were expecting this sooner than later. With all the ongoing protests by the Lebanese in the main cities of the United States this weekend, the US Government couldn’t stay idle and silent any longer. After all, these protesters in the American cities are their people as they are ours. They are Lebanese-Americans and their voices matter to the US government and those they have elected.
Finally, we hear from the US State Department, and their message is clear, both to the public and the Lebanese government. The U.S. supports the Lebanese protesters in their demands against corruption, and for a healthy and clean governance of the country’s affairs.
On Sunday, an official of the US State Department told Al-Hurra news in Washington, “Decades of bad choices and corruption have pushed the state to the brink of political collapse.” The official, whose name was not revealed, expressed also his hope that “the demonstrations would push the authorities to move forward with reforms.”
He also shared that the State Department is hoping that “these demonstrations will stimulate Beirut to move forward in the end with real economic reform,'” pointing out that “Commitment and implementation of meaningful reforms can open the door to billions of dollars in international support for Lebanon. This is up to the Lebanese.”
The Lebanese protesters are counting on it, but it is also up to the government to respond to their insisting demands since Thursday, Oct 17th, and the sooner the better for the sake of Lebanon, for the Lebanese people have no intention whatsoever this time to back off and yield again.
The US Government is now seeing it, heeding the determined masses on the streets of Lebanon, the US, and across the world. And our people have spoken, and continue to do so, protesting against the political power that runs the country and has brought the Lebanese citizens to their knees. And the Lebanese now say, “No more!”
The Hariri’s 72-hour deadline to his government is about to end, and their plan named “Hariri economic paper” has not succeeded in calming Lebanon’s street nor has it convinced the people to go back to their abnormal normal life.
Truth is, as widely and openly expressed in the streets and on all social media platforms, the Lebanese people are no longer trusting nor relying on anything that comes from the government. Reactions like “Too late!” and “Who are they kidding?” and “They’re just stalling to get the stolen money out!” are common since the announcement of the new tax-free budget plan.
“All, meaning All!” is the most shout-out slogans echoing through the protesting crowds both in Lebanon and across the world. The people have been suffering tremendously from the lack of basic services, basic rights, basic infrastructures, and good governance of the country’s affairs.
With a public debt estimated at over $86 billion, the Lebanese can no longer shut up and let it be. They rightfully deem the country belongs to them because a country is not a government but a nation. And the Lebanese nation has spoken.