We have a problem, General Aoun

By Mezzo

We all know that the US supported (directly or indirectly) the Taliban in their fight against the Soviet troops and they turned out to be a threatening organization on a world scale. What went wrong is that the Taliban have an ideology that is not much in common with US society and interests.

The same happened with Saddam Hussein when the USA supported him (directly or indirectly) in his war against Iran to turn against him as soon as he invaded Kuwait and threatened other Arab oil rich countries.

During that same period, the US gave Syria free hands in Lebanon in exchange for its participation in the 1990 coalition against Saddam Hussein. But, then again, after the US freed Kuwait and ultimately invaded Iraq in 2003, the US is back dealing with long lasting issues of peace in the Middle East and Israel’s security. The US forced Syria out of Lebanon and is now applying pressure and isolating Syria’s regime.

There are many more examples around the world that would basically tell us that the fundamental differences will ultimately prevail even if common interests make two parties meet at one time or another.

What makes General Aoun the most controversial person in Lebanon’s history is his confused mind that mixes in the most natural way, simple political street matters with issues of a national dimension. He extrapolates genuine beliefs that are music to people’s ears, such a “transparency” and “fairness” and “clean hands” to an incomprehensible crisis (to any of us) of national, regional, and world repercussions.

And he goes along with Hezbollah trying to topple the government.

When I talk of Hezbollah I do not mean the Shi’a of Lebanon. When I talk of Hezbollah I make a parallel to the Talibans of this world and the fanatics and extremists whether they are Jews, Christians, Shi’a, or Sunnis fundamentalists. Hezbollah is an organization with an ideology that does not associate itself to modern Lebanon, period. So if today, you have a common street interest in joining forces with the Hezb, tomorrow as president of the Lebanon, you will be in the same shoes as the US in Afghanistan and Iraq and will be forced to defend Lebanon’s interests and identity.

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6 Comments

Filed under Lebanon

6 responses to “We have a problem, General Aoun

  1. Christine

    Please Général, we ask you to be reasonnable. Laissez vous guider par la raison et le bien du pays. Nous vous avons toujours défendu, certains en sont morts. Les intérêts personnels, ça suffit !!!!

  2. Christine

    Happy New Year. Be in peace. Salam, Paix, Shalom

  3. The problem might be a little bit bigger on a larger scale:

    the current game in lebanon is the reflection of the current axis fight in the middle east.
    Maybe the hezbollah belongs to the iranian axis, however if we look into the details, we can observ differents wings inside the hezbollah with a pro iranian, a pro syrian but also a pro lebanese wing which is the one that pushed toward a deal with aoun.

    The second idea based on the axis theory in the middle east is that the 14 of march is handled by both american and saudi arabia, with mainly the 14 march christian supporters with americans and the future movement and the saudi.

    here another game is forcastable. the US are loosing iraq, the saudi and the US are having a diverging interest over the medium to long term, which will cause the end of the 14 of march movement. the saudi already threatened to intervene and support the sunnits in iraq, they want to influence the syrian new power, and due alreayd to the divergent interest, Bashar wasnt replaced by khaddam as the saudi wished and the US didnt want to accept.

    In lebanon we will have increasing tensions btw the representants of theses 2 axis and we might even have new alliances appearing in a short to medium timeframe

    by consequence we have to stop thinking with old political equations, try to understand the new set of equation that are pushed in place and choose the best one.
    from all this i would say that on my side i would prefer a lebanese haifa wehbé then a lebanese afghanistan and saudi made burga

  4. Gkhaled

    Just a correction. When the US was fighting the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s there was no Taliban. Taliban was created later after the Soviets were defeated and its goal to fight the warlords! It was supported by the Pakistani Intelligence Services.

  5. ana

    The Taliban was created by the Deobandi madrassahs (a project sponsored by the CIA and implemented by Pakistan’s ISI). They officially came to power in 1995.

    The reference Mezzo makes to the Taliban doesn’t actually refer to the Taliban as a formal institution or group, but rather to the groups that eventually came to make up the Taliban. Such reference is often used in media for the sake of reaching out to a the masses (although if you want to be technical, then yes…).

    However, Gkhaled, you are mistaken when you claim that the Taliban’s sole objective was to fight the warlords once the USSR was kicked out of Afghanistan.

    Once the USSR left Afghanistan, the CIA stopped paying much attention to the Taliban’s activities and allowed the ISI to take over most of the supervision. However, by supporting the Taliban who are considered to be Islamist ideologues, the traditionalist moderates were unable to take power and what emerged was a civil war between the two groups (there were seven mujahedeen groups total and each fought the other depending on which “civil war” you are talking about: geographical vs. linguistic vs. ethnic vs. political-religious divisions). Given the CIA’s rollback policy, they chose to support the Islamists because Pakistan didn’t want a strong nationalist Afghanistan as was being preached by the traditionalists. The Taliban were composed of warlords themselves and were fully immersed in the heroin and opium drug market…

    The Taliban won because they were the sole party that were able to convince the Afghan people that they could reestablish Afghan security and order. Once in power, the Taliban adopted a policy that originated in Pakistan: international jihad which formalized Al-Qaeda’s functionalities.

  6. ana

    To just add one more thing: I think if we pay attention to the metaphorical connotations of what a “Taliban” is, then we can say a lot about Aoun and can predict (perhaps accurately, but generally) where he is going to fall.

    I was once having lunch with a prominent lawyer who compared Aoun to Raymond Edde during the Civil War. Edde chose the wrong camp and ended up being so marginalized by Lebanon’s political mechanism that he just faded away. Any similarities?

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