“The Most Important Organization affecting America's relationship with Lebanon"
- The New York Sun –
America's Pro-Lebanon Lobby
Dear USCFL Friends and Members:
Welcome to our newly revamped face on the Web. It’s been a long and arduous road since our organization’s formation on July 4th, 1997.
The general state of our beloved homeland does not call for much celebration. Our puppet regime is a government that is still a tool in the hands of the Syrian intelligence services and Hezbollah; our parliament is appointed and not elected; our legal system is rotting with bribery and corruption; our democracy is ceding to autocracy, our economy is in debt beyond all means of repayment and the majority of the Lebanese population still lives on the verge of poverty.
In fact Lebanon is a country where the government is completely divorced from the population. Yet we still feel that we have cause to celebrate this date. To celebrate the fact that we have formed a lobbying organization second to none and to celebrate the memory of all Lebanese Patriots who died on the altar of national sacrifice.
What better way is there to celebrate the birth of a modern and progressive Organization than to utilize the latest technique in communication by sending this message on the Web. Our aim is to share our thoughts and ideas with all those who love Lebanon as we do.
I sincerely hope and am in fact sure, that some time in the near future we shall have many more reasons to celebrate. So keep your chins up and let's work together to unite all Lebanese of good will in their endeavor to free Lebanon from the three rogue regimes of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.
Who We Are
The US Committee for a Free Lebanon (USCFL) was founded on July 4, 1997 by New York financier Ziad K. Abdelnour, along with 56 other prominent Lebanese American activists and other financiers, to educate the American public as to Lebanon's strategic and moral significance as an ally of the United States and an outpost of Western values in the Middle East.
Bad rumors say that the USCFL is the front of some “shady” force plotting with some organizations out there against Lebanon’s interests. Just to set the record straight, we are NOT a front of any foreign entity; whether Syrian, Israeli or whatever and we are fully funded by our members, supporters and other constituents….Most importantly we are far from being defunct.
Starting from 56 Founding members in 1997, the USCFL today counts over 3,100 active and paying dues members and is in direct contact over the Web with over 100,000 constituents and supporters disseminated around 25 Chapters worldwide. Unlike other organizations dealing with Lebanon, the USCFL is not affiliated with any political faction in Lebanon or abroad and is funded solely by its membership.
We are neither right wing nor left wing. We are neither Republicans nor Democrats. We are neither neo-cons nor doves. We are just the ultimate lobbyists and powerbrokers for a Free and Democratic Lebanon; Syria; Iraq and every other country in the Middle East out there. Period. We are here to promote BOTH American and Arab interests and make it a “win-win” for both. We only advocate the use of force if and when needed and only as a last resort for the simple reason that the only language some terrorists out there understand is the use of force.
The U.S Presidential election is now over. The American citizenry has spoken. Now, as Americans we must UNITE behind Senator Barak Obama, now President of the United States of America, hoping for the best, praying for his success, determined, and dedicated to the principle that we will not demonize this man in the years to come as has been done with our last two presidents. President-elect Barak Obama will now be president of ALL citizenry of this nation.
If he and his administration are successful, the nation will be successful. Therefore we hope and pray for his success and hope to enlighten him as to the path being taken by his Administration regarding our all critical U.S Foreign Policy issues going forward. God bless America.
Our Mission Statement
The United States Committee for a Free Lebanon holds that the United States has vital interests in the Middle East and sees the region, with its profusion of dictatorships, radical ideologies, existential conflicts, border disagreements, political violence, as a major source of problems for the Free World. Toward this end, the USCFL seeks to help shape the intellectual climate in which U.S. foreign policy is made by addressing key issues regarding the region in an accessible way and for a sophisticated public.
The USCFL also functions as a resource for individuals and institutions seeking not only accurate and reliable information, but also new and fresh perspectives, combined with innovative and effective solutions, for Lebanon and the Lebanese people.
Consequently, the USCFL serves as a vehicle to disseminate "intelligence" and "out-of-the box" ideas to institutions and policymakers in the United States and abroad that are capable of exercising political, economic, military or spiritual leverage to bring abuses towards Lebanon to an end and hold those responsible to account.
Lebanon is a pluralistic country with people of many religions, ethnicities and beliefs. In recognition of this reality, the USCFL advocates only solutions for Lebanon upon which genuine consensus can be built, irrespective of race, creed, religion or ethnicity. In other words, the USCFL believes that in order to find a basis for peace, prosperity and security in Lebanon, we must begin by emphasizing and focusing on issues upon which all Lebanese of good will, Druze, Muslim and Christian, can agree.
The USCFL condemns all forms of bigotry and racism, including anti-Arab racism, anti-Muslim and anti-Christian hatred, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. We believe that all peoples in the Middle East deserve the right to be heard, as well as the right to own property and the right to basic liberties of speech, religion, the press, and assembly without fear of terrorism or retribution from states or fanatical organizations, seeking to forcibly impose their will on peoples of different beliefs and backgrounds. The USCFL supports the right to self-government and self-determination for all the diverse peoples in Lebanon and the entire Middle East, as well as the right of these peoples to live securely and in tranquility anywhere in the region.
The USCFL is an organization committed to the fundamental values of Constitutional Democracy, which alone are able to bring genuine stability, prosperity, peace and security to Lebanon. Therefore, the USCFL will be utilizing all the resources at its disposal to promote the universal principles of free enterprise, limited government scope and involvement, individual freedom, strong and positive religious and traditional values, and an independent and sovereign government with a strong national defense for the nation of Lebanon and its beleaguered people. The USCFL also believes that to facilitate its fundamental goals, Lebanon should work to forge new regional alliances in the Middle East, as well as global alliances abroad, with nations and institutions that share these fundamental values of freedom and Constitutional Democracy.
Our Bedrock Foundations
Lebanon is an independent and distinct nation that has the absolute right to be free from Syrian, Iranian or any other occupation; directly or by proxy.
US interests in the Middle East are best served by a free and democratic Lebanon.
Lebanon must be a partner to, and not an object of, any Middle East peace process.
The human and civil rights of the people of Lebanon must be upheld.
The cause of peace, reconciliation and economic cooperation in the Middle East, based on mutual respect, justice and recognition of rights of all states and peoples to be free from the threat of war, must be achieved in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
Our Action Plan
Our major point action & activities program revolves around:
- Sponsoring lecture series and symposiums seeking to heighten the awareness of the American public and United States government officials and policy-makers as to the accurate economic and political situation in Lebanon and shed the light on the manufactured propaganda of the Syrian occupied regime by its Lebanese "cronies" such as Hezbollah.
- Speaking out candidly and forcefully on human rights violations and the squeezing of freedoms to which Lebanese at large are being subjected.
- Encouraging the gradual growth of a credible, responsible, and free opposition in the Lebanese body politic and giving the leaders and members of this opposition occasional exposure through meetings with Senior American officials.
- Mobilizing all available resources to promote the universal principles of free enterprise, limited government scope and involvement, individual freedom, strong and traditional values, and an independent and sovereign government with a strong national defense for Lebanon .
- Providing a national structure within which Americans of Lebanese heritage may articulate their shared concerns and promoting the national unity, independence, and security of a free and democratic Lebanon.
- Organizing media campaigns including legislative and community education aiming to counter the "Arabist " influence on U.S Foreign Policy.
- Organizing fund-raisers for key Members of the United States Congress willing to speak up for Lebanon.
- Preparing the next generation of Pro-Lebanon Leaders through grass-root student activist campaigns worldwide and better, educate members of the U.S Congress & Lebanese Parliament on the challenges facing U.S/Lebanese relationship at the dawn of the new century.
Ziad K. Abdelnour, President
Jeffrey Reid, Lobbying
John Allen, Republican Outreach
Philip Rothschild, Democratic Outreach
Elizabeth Koury, Research Team Leader
Jennifer Courtney, Events Coordinator
John S. Morgan, Webmaster
Sean Neely, Technical Support
Our Recommended Experts
Prof. Fouad Ajami
Habib C. Malik
Prof. Robert Rabil