Category Archives: Lebanon
To cut short the speech of Lebanon’s Prime Minister, our Prime Minister, before it ends is not innocent. Daher is a confused person. He does not realize how critical these times are for the Lebanese, for us, Christians and Muslims alike. We are not concerned with his continuous irritation over the legal case raised by the Lebanese Forces for the hundreds of millions he owed and pocketed. Where is the grand mission of LBC? Will Daher burn the oild fields like Saddam did when he unwillingly withdrew from Kuwait?
I was watching LBC on the day after the large turnout of February 14. A very short appearance of Geagea criticizing Nasrallah’s
monopolistic control over peace and war, there was no analysis over yesterday’s participations, and suddenly LBC switched to social
affairs. I zapped around and stopped at Future TV as the moving banner was just indicating what was coming next; an evaluation of yesterday’s Christian’s participation. Few minutes later down this review, Geagea appeared but for a longer period of time than on LBC, as he also discussed the presidential elections and of a new initiative to come if it does not happen any time soon. Recently, colleagues and friends also noted the subtle existence of a partial blackout on Geagea. How irresponsible of Daher to think that he can enjoy his upper hand during these critical times. Is Daher in such a hurry for consuming his revenge in anticipation of the outcome of his conflict with Geagea over LBC’s ownership? He reminds me of Aoun when he took his political ambitions over and above our national interests. And what a dear price we are still paying!
For the sake of keeping with our tradition, below are Michel Hayek’s 2008 predictions, albeit late.
– The presidential elections will be used as a pretext to put The Lebanese Republic itself at risk. The conspiracy plan is still taking form so it is not too late for the Lebanese to overcome it, recommended Michel.
– There won”t be a civil war, only smaller clashes or problems.
– The presidential elections will take place despite the latest turmoil.
– The economic and monetary situation in Lebanon will overcome many grand obstacles or crisis with success and Central BankGovernor Riad Salameh will shine further. Hayek sensed a dark atmosphere surrounding Salameh and warned him of possible dangers that might strike his person.
– Real estate boom to be expected. Hold on to your properties people!
– Numerous important business and economic summits shall take place in Lebanon.
– Various Lebanese women (about 4) will receive international honorary titles, including May Chediac, Minister Layla Solh Hmedeh and most probably the wife of a former president .
– Lebanon will not be split into ghettos or confessional cantons.
– Security threats and assassinations will go on, despite a breakthrough in the investigations.
– Skirmishes between Lebanon, Israel and Syria.
– Fireworks will fill the sky of some Lebanese cities celebrating the departure of the head of the Israeli government.
– Shaker El Absi will not remain an obscure matter; He will appear in a new light with a new facet.
– The opposition sitting in Downtown Beirut will be grounds for a scuffle or fight, and some tents or parties will leave the protest.
– Despite Michel Sleiman efforts and achievements, he will be, alongside the Lebanese army, the target of a campaign striving to disfigure his reputation and image.
– A wave of disturbances or turmoil will stir the public opinion, bringing together contradicting parties into one single manifestation or objection.
– Repetitive and different images revolving around the Lebanesearmed forces appear to Hayek. New members enrolling and others leaving within its troops, as well as important changes in leaderships and positions. The army will face local forces (trying to rebel), terrorist groups, as well as civil groups resulting constant military presence on all the Lebanese grounds to enforce security and stability.
– Prime Minister Fouad El Sanioura and General Michel Aoun at the mercy of a new conspiracy. Despite the darkness of the picture, Hayek sees a new stand or opinion, a new authority or leadership position, a new equation or equilibrium.
– To disable a conspiracy, the highest authority of Hezbollah will take a decision that will surprise the public.
– Hezbollah will demand clarifications or an investigation regarding an incident which will target one of his leading representatives or political figures.
– Unanticipated gesture by Emile Lahoud toward Amine Gemayel.
– A controversial billboard will be problematic in a certain area of Lebanon.
– French President Nicolas Sarkozi to face complex crisis, with negative outcome.
– In the end Georges Salibi also got a few personal predictions. An emotional affair or marriage will be the focus of the press. Despite a change of decor, Salibi career will persist at NewTV.
It is amazing to see that the whole political and press coverage is gravitating endlessly around investigating troops’ behavior on the ground, accused of committing crimes against rightful demonstrators. Hizbullah motivation is for the investigations to move upwards, in one direction, within the army corp, in order to neutralize whoever gave the shooting orders, at the next round.
What about investigating, at the level of the demonstrators, and then to pursue these investigations upward in order to find out; 1) who organized these demonstrations and 2) what instructions did the demonstrators receive?
Will Amal and Hizbollah agree to interrogations of subordinates, that would ultimately point upward and ever closer? Their expressions of excessive reprimand and agitation are clearly meant to block this outrageously unacceptable and unthinkable scenario.
This is irrespective of the fact that the party with the most vocal presence among the demonstrators was Amal’s, and that the manipulative Hizbullah has one more time succeeded in hiding, just behind. It is similar to the on-going strategy of Hizbullah that made Aoun believe, exactly like Berry believes today, that he is playing an historical role of national importance.
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.
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.
It was puzzling listening to Aoun, during his first intervention following election’s results, classifying LBC’s coverage of the Metn elections as poor and below any recognized standard. Of course, we firstly focus our attention on what he is trying to say in order to visualize what mishap could LBC have committed that would make it deserve such a public accusation. Aoun quickly volunteered few explanations but he was not convincing. LBC has standards even if mishaps can happen. Aoun may not know it, but he is not beyond fault.
The strange thing with Aoun is that LBC served him well since he returned from exile by providing him fair media time. Actually, his host country served him well too, and so has a large portion of the 14th of March Christian electorate during the 2005 elections. Actually, the people delivered and they are still waiting on him to deliver beyond words and promises.
We could quickly conclude that Aoun has no sense of loyalty but that would not draw the full picture. Indeed, for Aoun, loyalty is not a commodity he usually trades with. Aoun seems to be a better businessman than a politician. He can identify the obstacle standing in front of prosperity and put in motion an action plan that would remedy the situation.
LBC is a direct competitor to OTV.
It is incredible watching voters heading for the polls today. I have to say that my fellow blogger, Mezzo, completely hit the bull’s eye in predicting how voter behavior would play out today, when he said:
“This thought, however, came to my mind after seeing Aoun everywhere; leading every appearance, on every TV debate, at every reunion, and in every newspaper. Basically, everywhere and barely any trace of Camille Khoury, the real candidate against Amin Gemayel.”
Basically, Aoun successfully managed to turn Khoury into a proxy candidate. As one person commented on my previous post, Aoun cannot contest Gemayel himself given that he already is in Parliament (though he certainly doesn’t act like it).
However, this is far from a good thing. If Aoun claims to be leading a political party, then he needs to develop an infrastructure and sturdy fundamentals that have a longer life cycle than himself. This, he has miserably failed in doing. What this points out is the extent to which the party resembles that of a personality cult, except with an actual legal status. Once again, the Lebanese are succumbed to primitive politics and feudal representations. Unfortunately, it can only be said that the FPM’s supporters not only brought it upon themselves to stagnate any political maturity in the Lebanese national system, but have also brought it upon the rest of the population by guaranteeing at least one other generation of pre-modern party structure. Rather than advocating something more aligned with liberal democratic models, the party opted to encourage the status quo.
The end result, funny enough, is that Aoun is literally multiplying himself in the party.