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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Sep 24th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Press Releases arrow WCCR Press Release - Setting the Record Straight on the True Road to 1559
WCCR Press Release - Setting the Record Straight on the True Road to 1559 PDF Print E-mail
Written by CRNews, WCCR Press Release   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012

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CRNews (Washington D.C. - January 3, 2012) - CRNews has been receiving complaints by contacts from Lebanon and in the Lebanese Diaspora that want to set the record straight following the release of a manuscript (It is not known if it is even a published book as no ISBN Registration number is cited) by Stephen Kaufman - a blogger that appears to be acting as a front for Walid Maalouf.

The  manuscript, titled The Road to 1559, in the opinion of those truly involved in 1559 and whom contacted our press office, that it shamefully attempts to mis-align history, make many claims, take a lots of credit and overlooks the real process that truly happened.

The questions being asked following the release raised some interesting points in our newsroom.

Whatever the reason - those that conceived, strategized, drafted, worked tireless days and nights, sacrificing their well being, family, careers, significant financial resources and in some cases their very own lives must not be disregarded and trampled over in vein. As any professional would expect - do your due deligence and give credit where credit is properly due.  

The fruits of 1559 were to free Lebanon from a takeover by a neighbor and / or private militia's. The fruits of 1559 were for the safety and security of the innocent in Lebanon. The fruits of 1559 were for the future generations of Lebanese to lay claim to a land held by their ancestors for 6,000 years.

The fruits of 1559 should not be for an individual.

The First Red Flag that anyone involved with 1559 notices is the title: The Road to 1559.

Most educated Lebanese know that title by a key article released at that time by Dr. Walid Phares, [ LINK HERE ]

Please read the following release by Joe Baini, President of the World Council of the Cedars Revolution.

CRNews, Washington D.C.

 


The World Council of the Cedars Revolution
Representing the hopes and aspirations of many millions of Lebanese in Lebanon and throughout the Diaspora
2300 M Street NW Suite 800, Washington DC, USA 20037
Phone (202) 506 9540,
www.cedarsrevolution.org This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


1st of Jan 2012

Re: Event on Jan 5th 2012

      The Road to 1559


To Whom it may concern,

I was shocked to learn that the prestigious Institute for World Politics was hosting an event to honor an individual whose book is filled with inaccuracies and misinformation. That individual is Mr. Walid Maalouf, whose book, The Road to 1559, falsely claims that he was instrumental in the passing of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 (UNSCR 1559) in 2004 that called for the withdrawal of Syria from Lebanon and the disarmament of all militia groups there. Mr. Maalouf’s book fails to give any credit to the hard work and ideas of a team of dedicated individuals who spent tireless hours volunteering their time to draft, edit, promote and ensure the passing of this resolution. The hosting of this event by the Institute is a grave mistake, further perpetrating these false inaccuracies.

Mr. Walid Maalouf asked a blogger, Mr. Stephen Kaufman, to write this book filled with inaccuracies about the history of this United Nations Resolution.

Frighteningly, this book filled with baseless claims and unfounded facts, is now being advanced in Washington, DC as a historical reality, undermining the countless hours and sleepless nights of a group of individuals. The reality is that while Mr. Maalouf was a part of the process, he was one of many who worked on one of many segments that eventually led to the passing of this resolution at the United Nations (UN). However, Mr. Maalouf’s role was neither that of the originator of the idea of this resolution, nor the writer of the draft, or even the architect of the strategies that went into the construction of this historical event. Unfortunately, though not surprisingly, Mr. Maalouf is trying to appropriate the effort made by many teams and writers for his own self glory and possibly to further his political career.

For these reasons, we are dismayed to learn that prestigious institutions and prominent United States former diplomats and bureaucrats, many of who knew and met the workers of this resolution are buying into these false claims. While Mr. Maalouf may have his own accomplishments, by no means can he claim the writing of this policy, a policy so vital to Lebanon and the Middle East, that it mobilized the Bush Administration. Yet, Mr. Maalouf hired the services of a blogger to document this historical event and selectively gave him some, not all, of the facts, some, not all, of the documents and then solicited the endorsements from his previous employers that further perpetuated this myth that he, Mr. Maalouf, a bank manager turned bureaucrat, almost single handedly created policies on Lebanon for the Bush Administration.

The accurate facts are as follows:

1. Mr. Maalouf, a Lebanese-American activist, succeeded in gathering a sum of money for the Bush campaign in 2000 from Arab-American bankers in the United States. As such, he was appointed as a citizen representative at the US delegation at the UN. Mr. Maalouf had never been a diplomatic architect before, nor had he written books on politics. In fact, for the previous 13 years, since Syria’s occupation of Lebanon in 1990, Mr. Maalouf had never written or spoken about a UN resolution. However, while at the UN mission, he was contacted by several Lebanese Diaspora NGOs requesting his assistance in making appointments with officials to introduce the idea of a UN resolution focused on getting Syria out of Lebanon.

Per emails exchanges, (currently in our possession) Mr. Maalouf was handed over a draft of, and strategies about, the creation of such a Resolution by the World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU), which at that time was under our leadership and presidency. Mr. Maalouf was instrumental in making some of the phone calls to public officials both in New York and Washington, DC. He was not however instrumental in creating or drafting the resolution. The birth of this idea of the Resolution and the work towards it creation began well before his tenure as an appointee in New York. Please do not misunderstand our reason for drafting this statement, because our intent is not to undermine his patriotism but to ensure that credit is given where it is deserved. Mr. Maalouf’s claim to this project is no more than one of many people. He was not in any way the architect of this resolution. His book is riddled with inaccuracies and false information

2. UNSCR 1559 and the liberation of Lebanon from the Syrian Army, was the combined result of hard work by the Lebanese Diaspora that began as far back as 1991, following the invasion of East Beirut by the Syrian Army. These events did not occur by phone calls made by Mr. Maalouf in 2004, and for him to make these statements, minimizes the struggles that Lebanon has faced. The concept of this Resolution took years of strategizing by many groups, both in the United States and the Free world, numerous dialogues with the US Congress, the Administrations and the European Government that span well over 12 years. The entire process and birth of this Resolution is in archive and the truth will be published in the near future. Those who struggled for Lebanon's liberation from Syria's occupation have published and posted significantly since 1991 both in the USA and worldwide. Mr. Maalouf was not among them. It was from a handful of activists and intellectuals that attended a meeting held by the World Lebanese Cultural Union in Mexico City in May of 2001, that the Diaspora based Lebanese opposition was at long last able to launch an initiative. At that meeting, the representatives made a decision to reach out to all Lebanese communities worldwide, including to those in the United States, and push for a resolution in the UN to get Syria out of Lebanon. Mr. Maalouf was not a part of this meeting nor was he present at that meeting.

In 2002, the WLCU held a convention in Las Vegas, stood with the US Administration against Terrorism, and launched a campaign to issue this UN resolution against Syria. In 2003, the WLCU held another convention in Miami and officially sought an international resolution, formed a delegation that met with the Bush Administration and UN officials throughout the year, and also met with French and European officials calling for the same goal. It was at this time that Mr. Maalouf was asked by the delegation to make appointments and to push forward the draft of the Resolution that had been written by the team's experts. Mr. Maalouf was not involved in any of the writings of this Resolution. He was given a copy of the draft and his role was to send the draft around and arranged for some, not all, official meetings. Mr. Maalouf was not the Lebanese Diaspora nor was he the author of that memo. (See article “THE ROAD TO UNSCR 1559” published November 29, 2004 in Lebanonwire.com)

3. The team that designed the strategy and drafted the initial memo included attorneys, professors and diplomats of Lebanese descent. Mr. Maalouf was never part of that team. The team comprised of Professor Walid Phares from Florida Atlantic University, an expert on international relations who designed the strategy and wrote the memos to introduce the initiative, a Lebanese-Mexican diplomat stationed at the UN and advisor to the team, and Attorney Joanne M. Fakhre drafted the UN project resolution, while I, as President of the NGO, Tom Harb, Attorney John Hajjar , Dr. Anis Karam, and Fady Barq tirelessly requested the meetings with government officials and traveled to Washington and NY to officially request the adoption of the draft. In Europe, we sought the assistance of Dr Rachid Rahme and his team. We sought and obtained the support of Lebanese American NGOs who also helped in grassroots and outreach in Congress. A newspaper article published in daily Al Nahar (Feb 3rd 2005, numb 22210- as a special addendum) included interviews centered on the creation and drafters of UNSCR.

Therefore, while Mr. Maalouf can be credited as one of many who contributed to the resolution, he was not the initiator of the idea or the strategist who made it happen. Sadly, he is attempting to take credit for the hard work and collective effort of a whole community and network of leaders, misleading the public and undermining the road to 1559.

4. The memos, briefs, explanations and drafts submitted to the Bush Administration, National Security Council, the State Department and Defense Department, were never authored by Mr. Maalouf. He was provided the task of forwarding these to the various departments only. Today he claims them as his work. Mr. Maalouf's author, Mr. Kaufman did a poor job in his enactment of UNSCR 1559. He provides no proof to substantiate his claims, no documents, no emails no photographs, no archives detailing this historic event. Even the title of his book was taken from the title of an article published Nov 29th 2004 (cited above). There are about 12 years of archives of the birth of UNSCR 1559 that will be made available in the future.

5. This book ignores vital historical facts, focusing instead on falsely glorifying and presenting Mr. Maalouf as the key player in a policy in which he had a minimal role. Mr. Maalouf did not design UNSCR 1559. Mr. Maalouf did not draft UNSCR 1559. Mr. Maalouf was not instrumental in the passing of UNSCR 1559. UNSCR was the combined effort of a number of persistent, hard working individuals, US officials and lawmakers, and French diplomats, who believed in the democracy of Lebanon and who tirelessly worked to implement into policies the ideas that were formulated to achieve this result.

6. Mr. Maalouf is an avid seeker of a political position. As soon as the Bush Administration ended its tenure, this self declared U.S. Official shifted gears to Lebanese politics, running for a legislative seat in Lebanon's Parliamentary election in 2009. Following the loss of that election, it was back again to the USA, and now Mr. Maalouf has reinvented himself as a mover and a shaker in the Bush Administration and the author of his current book about UNSCR 1559. This book contains inaccurate information and has been promoted in Lebanon among politicians there, and here in the United States falsely creating the illusion that he single handedly brought about this event.

This letter is being submitted on behalf of the many leaders and team members who worked courageously and diligently on lobbying for, and introducing, what became the UNSCR 1559. Many of these individuals continue to work today to ensure Lebanon’s democracy. We request that the contents of the book be validated and that the various honorable US officials with knowledge of the history of UNSCR 1559, including Ambassadors John Negroponte and John Bolton, Dr Elliott Abrams as well as the French diplomats who worked in the resolution to release their archives to show who was really behind the resolution. Furthermore, we humbly request that you, the respectable NGOs, not hold ceremonies to honor a person whose recollection of the events have not been substantiated.

 


Most Sincerely,

Joe Baini


Joe Baini
President, WCCR
Former president of WLCU
Senate president of WLCU
Sydney, Australia



Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 January 2012 )
 
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