Category Archives: Tashnag

Initial reactions on Aoun’s latest mistakes

By Ana

General Michel Aoun slammed March 14 saying they don’t have a right to be decision makers. He also said that he represents the majority of the Christians and being shut out of the debate for the presidency is isolating the voice of the majority of the Christians. He also criticized the U.S.’s recent statement rejecting a president that is affiliated to a terrorist organization or foreign power.

1. March 14 is the majority and therefore is the decision maker by constitutional default;
2. The FPM and their leader need to re-check the Metn results: the only substantial Christian bloc that voted for Camille Khoury was Tashnag, and certainly not the Maronites (although I fully respect and advocate the view that the Maronites are not all the Christians); and
3. How can you, Aoun, support a president that has the carte blanche from Hezbollah (like yourself) when they are clearly a terrorist organization, one that you acknowledged back in 2002?
4. Lastly, Aoun equates the Shi’as with Hezbollah. How wrong he is. The Shi’as are more than just the political Shi’as of March 8.

The problem with demagogues is that they can never be consistent. It makes the fact that they have no logic too obvious.

For French readers, I highly recommend you read Carlos Edde: Le Fascisme. The article was published in L’Orient Le Jour last week. Fascism in a new light. Note to readers: Read between the lines, it’s a lot more fun.

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Filed under Aoun, Camille Khoury, Free Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah, Lebanese Christians, Lebanese Shi'a, Lebanon, March 14, March 8, Tashnag

Replaying their cards, the opposition’s official backing of Aoun should raise some eyebrows

By Ana

Three months back, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri had announced the three candidates he would consider elligible and legitimate to run for president. His list, he had said, represented the unified interests of the March 8 bloc. The three names were Boutros Harb, Jean Obeid, and Fares Boueiz. Berri had classified them as the only three candidates the March 8 bloc would be willing to vote for come November.

And yet yesterday, the cards changed: Berri reiterated that presidential elections should be held on time, Abbas Hashem called Aoun the modern Napoleon, and Wiam Wahab called Aoun the only candidate capable of replacing Lahoud. Let’s analyse this a bit more:

1. Wahab was talking on behalf of the March 8 bloc and called Aoun’s candidacy for the presidency legitimate and officially supported by the movement. He stressed that March 8 should not stop supporting his candidacy.

2. Wahab placed an ultimatum to his public: either Aoun or no one at all. This raises some questions. Does he not know that March 14 will never let Aoun take the presidency (and thankfully they can still guarantee this constitutionally because they hold the majority)? In otherwords, the most liable of the two scenarios is the latter. But will March 8 keep its word? “No one at all” means that the cabinet will take over the executive powers of the presidency. The cabinet of today and of November is the Seniora government. Is Wahab serious when he says that March 8 is willing to not have anyone as president? If so, they would constitutionally have no choice but to allow the Seniora government to take over all extraordinary authority. Eyebrows should be raised because Wahab did not refer to the looming scenario of a split government where the legitimate current government will be pitted against that of the minority.

3. Most importantly, how could it possibly be good for Aoun if he is equated to Lahoud? Wahab called Aoun the only capable politician able to replace the current president, saying the replacement “should be like Gen. Emile Lahoud: a resistance fighter and a believer in Lebanon and not in the orders of foreign embassies, a believer in the state and a believer in his people.” So basically, Aoun is capable of being another Lahoud: i.e. take orders from Syria, counter the tribunal efforts, move away from the West towards Iran and Syria, and guarantee that the country remain in economic dissmal and political catastrophe. Yes, he is right, Aoun is certainly capable of replacing Lahoud in that regard.

But of course, the FPM and their leader fail to see behind these ego-boosting words. Aoun hears from March 8 that he won a “World War” in the Metn. He hears that they call him a Napoleon. But does he remember that Napolean’s disastrous miscalculations, ambition, and military stupidty are the very reasons why he lost against Russia? You cannot fight winter. Yet Aoun thinks he is capable of more than just fighting the weather.

Even the United States now considers the general to be officially within the March 8 bloc and that means as a serious contender to the existence of the Seniora government. Earlier this week, the Bush administration issued a list of prominent business men that are allegedly funding members of the March 8 bloc, including Aoun and the FPM. I am therefore very glad that the Metn elections happened right after to show the world just who these supporters really were. They were not the Maronites who mainly voted for Gemayel. They were the 8,400 Tashnag supporters, 2,500 SSNP followers, 2,000 Syrian naturalized Lebanese, and the list goes on. Thankfully, however, the Maronites are not the ones being labeled by the United States. The Christian Lebanese saved themselves with these elections.

Why should eyebrows be raised? Because Aoun is no longer the Christian leader. It is almost impossible to compete with his voting record when the last elections he had back in May 2005 got him over 70 percent of the Christian vote. When Aoun left March 14 back in 2005, he took all the Christians with him. Now, the Christians are back where they belong, but Aoun is no where to be seen.

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Filed under Amin Gemayel, Aoun, Fouad Seniora, Free Patriotic Movement, Lebanese Christians, Lebanese Presidential Elections, Lebanon, March 14, March 8, Syria, Tashnag

Chameleon Murr and the implications on Metn

By Ana

It was only a few weeks back that Michel Murr made a long, comprehensive, and clear press statement where he firmly presented himself as the Christian who would be in charge of finding a compromise candidate for the Metn in the upcoming by-elections to take place on August 5. In this press conference, he had also specifically stated that he would try to make Amin Gemayel, father of the late Pierre Gemayel, the compromise candidate for both political blocs.

On Friday, July 20, Gemayel presented his candidacy to the by-elections in an emotional speech.

It is therefore quite unfortunate that yesterday, General Michel Aoun, Michel Murr, and the Armenian nationalist Tashnag Party, presented themselves as a tripartide bloc and gave their full support to FPM candidate Camile Khoury, who will be running against Gemayel. After Aoun spoke, Murr stated that the alliance “was not born yesterday,” implying that the bloc had previously met and had chosen to back an FPM candidate. So what was his grand insistence on presenting himself as a potential moderator between the two blocs? Although expected, one is always surprised to see how words never manifest themselves into action.

On another note, the Metn by-elections promise to be a very interesting experience for the FPM and their leader. Aoun was compelled to challenge Gemayel but through a proxy (Khoury) rather than presenting himself. The move is interesting on two levels. Firstly, by not running, Aoun will not have a second voting record before the presidential elections to take place in November. This means, that should Gemayel beat Khoury, Aoun will not interpret is as a personal loss on his personal ambition to take the much desired political seat. Secondly, should Gemayel beat Khoury, it will be interesting to assess the voting gap between the two. What Aoun does not wish to get, is that to manifest what he has been saying for the past few months (i.e. that the FPM has gained a broader support base), his candidate should, by default and unquestionably, get a majority of the votes in the Metn. However, not just a simply majority, but an outstanding majority. To teach the general how to count ahead of the game: a broader support base means MORE than 70 percent (which was his voting record back in May 2005).

Unfortunately, when, and I say when because I find it most probable that Gemayel will succeed his son, Khoury does lose significantly to the former president, Aoun will not interpret this as a red light that something is very wrong (i.e. his talk and the ground figures don’t add up). Let’s see how he is going to present to his constituents that the elections were undemocratic or were manipulated when he is asked by journalists to come to terms with his Metn defeat.

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Filed under Amin Gemayel, Aoun, Camille Khoury, Lebanese Christians, Lebanon, Michel Murr, Pierre Gemayel, Tashnag