Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Since You Cannot Protect Us, Resign

Since You Cannot Protect Us, Resign

Thursday, 5 March, 2020 - 11:00

The demonstration did not come late. Hours after the Serail-resident finished his speech in front of the consuls, protesters blocked several bridges and main roads in Beirut and other areas, raising slogans such as, “No confidence... Resign” and “No confidence, leave”!

The Prime Minister explicitly said, “Honestly, the state in its current condition is no longer capable of protecting the Lebanese and providing them with a dignified life”. He then added: “In all transparency, the state has lost the confidence of the Lebanese”. Consequently, on March 2, he confessed failure and incapacity, after 41 days of the birth of his government on 21 January, and 74 days after he was assigned Prime Minister on December 19, a sufficient duration for any serious governor to provide a vision to rescue the country. Sound reason would entail that whoever says those words would continue and say. “I hereby announce the resignation of my government. Let someone else come and lead to protect the people. At least, because behavior and performance did not allow citizens to find out what was really happening in the country”!

Instead, he declared failure and inability to effect any change, and despite that, he chose to remain under the guise that “the other alternatives are more dangerous”. This was the bombshell because it reveals that the real team pulling the strings behind this government of masks is proceeding in a path to impose its solutions on the expense of those who are in need. That is, because of the government, both head and members, settled on the path of not holding whoever caused the crisis accountable, a mafia of deals, brokers, foreign dependency, bankers cartels and money tycoons who have accumulated wealth by looting public funds and the fruit of citizens whose deposits were stolen!

It is a dangerous matter for a Prime Minister to speak like a victim among citizens, while between his hands as the head of the executive authority are the capacities of the entire country and its institutions, and is consequently the one who is responsible for preventing the country’s collapse and inability to protect people. This announcement was like a decision for the state to escape its responsibilities and duties to protect and guarantee rights. It seemed as if he was telling people to go solve their own problems, announce anarchy, and take back what's theirs with their own hands! In short, the premier’s speech in front of the consuls set a precedence in the history of Lebanese governments in resigning from its responsibilities and then staying in power!

Since October 17 when people took to the streets rejecting decades of violations and humiliations, the majority of Lebanese people chose the alternative to the chaos of brokers and protected deals by the mini-state within the state and naturally revealed in their behavior and practices their ability to build bridges between each other. This returned the smile to their faces despite the frustration and revived hope in their unity that was built on shared interests, a true course towards a rescue that will come with a political change that would allow the Lebanese to retrieve their abducted republic. In all Lebanese squares, there is clarity, and they have declared it since the very beginning that there would be no chance for this formation and no confidence. They considered overthrowing the government to be the pathway towards forcing the cabinet and its head, Diab, to retreat from an alliance that would inevitably lead to trouble, while the latter knows that the Lebanese know who really is in control! The Lebanese are convinced that there are no solutions under this government.

After October 17, citizens found that they were being cheated to an unprecedented degree by those responsible for the loot of an era and who impoverished and starved the country. They began to point their fingers towards the perpetrators one by one, which put the entire sectarian alliance under the accusation of committing all of these crimes, and the people were united under the revolution’s slogan: All of them means all of them. This led to them preventing the political class from accessing public spaces. Subsequently, the street was subjected to all sorts of pressures and violations to weaken and penetrate it in order to diverge it from its course and onto demands that took advantage of people’s suffering of humiliation by banks, but that remained secondary despite their importance. With difficulty, it then corrected its course. This is what the protests on consecutive Saturdays represent, the ability to aim for the corrupt confessional sectarian system that Hezbollah now fiercely defends, as the defender of a formulation that is based on inequality between the Lebanese.

This discourse of bankruptcy, arrogance, and insistence on inequality and blackmailing people's hunger, and the street’s response demanding the government's resignation, then Diab rushing to describe his critics as an orchestra that has cherry-picked facts and has resorted to lies and incitement, a familiar matter among politicians who try to cover up one issue with another, thinking that this kind of noise will cover up the process of pushing the country towards bleak choices so that the approach that led the country to collapse continues. These choices are embodied in three flaws that have characterized the regime: Violations of public freedoms, blindly favoring money tycoons over the public, and conspiring against people’s lives!

The most prominent “achievement” started with building walls of hatred around public institutions, parliament, and the government and putting up cement barriers between people and the regime that has lost its public legitimacy. What is meant by this is ignoring the suffering of people and their demands, and this has culminated in calling in hundreds of rebels for investigations and pressuring them with their only crime being standing steadfast against corruption and the corrupt who have yet to be touched. This approach seems clear: going towards some form of a security state and refusing to work to secure people’s rights.

The second “achievement” is more pressure on the judiciary to prevent it from issuing sentences against bankers’ cartels that have legitimized laws to plunder deposits, opening the door for unprecedented looting of the fruits of people’s labor.

The third and catastrophic “achievement” on top of this collapse has been conspiring against people’s lives. It is in Hezbollah’s interest, the real governor of the country, to maintain the aerial bridge between Beirut and Tehran, and now it has become like they’re actually importing Coronavirus. The regime has tricked and misled people, and is falling short of the minimal precautionary measures such as mandatory quarantines to protect people, taking people’s health for granted and satisfying themselves by merely shutting down schools while opening the borders.

The anger of citizens is not manufactured, as they have been patient enough, and the only obvious task is to take back power so that the country and its citizens are liberated from division, arrogance, and violations of rights. The revolution that has gained the confidence of people is their only hope for finding a path that would reformulate the real history of the country.

Other opinion articles

Editor Picks