This delicious “Bon Mot” by a Western "observer" fits General Michel Aoun like a glove. He leaves few indifferent, the Leader of the Tayyar, the self-declared front-runner in the Lebanese presidential elections, our national NapolAoun.
Most of those of us who still root for the dear general will admit that he is indeed crazy. Actually, most of them will admit that they like him precisely because of this craziness; the Lebanese system is so hopelessly blocked that only a mad man can unblock it.
Those of us who stopped liking him do so precisely because of some of the new crowds that he seems to attract. Having spent all his life, and ours, fighting for
But the general’s ego gets in the way of reality.
Still, I trust the man. I am confident that, with his proclivity in picking losing battles, he will drag his new allies into the abyss. The past 15 years were not pleasant to all of those who once supported him.
Those who are banking on riding his coattails will be lucky to survive that long.
This is no idle menace.
The struggle in 1991 was among Arabs, and merely about Oil. The Americans sided with its “kind” of Arabs, and the others were soon ousted.
On this, Aoun was proven right on the principle… but wrong on the practice, as he obstinately picked the loosing side.
The struggle in 2007 is between Arabs and Farsis with an added sectarian dimension, and about future regional hegemony. In this deadly game, the Americans and the West are no mere bystanders; thanks to
This time as before, those who oppose the Americans will find themselves out of luck, sooner or later. Except for rabid leftists who will too stoned to vote in the
Who said Herr General was not consistent?
No One Is Indifferent…
When Aoun was ousted in 1990, he was indeed the legitimate Prime Minister of
Today, he finds himself opposing a legitimate Prime Minister, and using against him the same arguments he faces back then. There is indeed serious talk about Lahouss refusing to go, and appointing another Prime Minister to rival Siniora, and it seems the first choice was Aoun, again. But Herr General appears to have shied away from the honour, and the talk is about Sleiman Franjieh, who’s IQ is a known quantity.
Third Time’s the Charm?
There is one difference this time; PM Siniora is on the “right side” of the equation, be it sectarian, ethnic, or otherwise.
From a sectarian perspective, it is perceived that “the Shiites are not playing fair”. In the same way as “they” have imposed Berri on the other communities, and the Sunnis imposed Siniora (not a bad choice), the Christians want to impose the President. This is the essence of Bkerke’s stance, and the reasoning behind the Patriarch surprise visit to the President. This is perceived as an existential question, and the Sunnis appear to support the Christians in this, lest they be next.
From an ethnic perspective, it gets worse. Ever since they have begun their demonstrations against the government and their disingenuous denials, Hezb is increasingly perceived amongst Arabs as an Iranian tool, and a threat to Lebanon. Thanks to his wise actions and deft handling of the crises so far, it is Siniora who is increasingly perceived as a stalwart of Arabism.
And finally, the American and Western factor(s) come into play. They have farmed us out in the past, they have looked the other way when we were being bombed, and they will do both again in the future. But in the meantime, there is no one to sell us out to, and the Americans have made such a mess of Iraq that they need this government to succeed, for now.
And thank God for Bashar Assad, who constantly reminds Americans, the West, and the World that, for a durable peace in the region, it is in the interest of all for Lebanon to become, finally, at least a decent democracy.
To be sure, we’re not out of the woods yet, and we’re in for a helluva rough ride. The tribunal is no panacea to the deeper ills that plague
But in the end, those of us who survive the ordeal will be “in like Flynn”…