To all the skeptics

By: Louis K. Abi Habib

June 16/2005


Over the years General Michel Aoun has been accused of many things, early critics called him a traitor for supposedly single handedly dividing the Christians of Lebanon. At a later stage he was dubbed crazy for launching a war of liberation against Syria. During his 14 year exile in France every single member of the political class said that he was uncompromising, unrealistic and not suited for politics because he demanded among other things a complete and total withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon.


Today Aoun is accused by some of being Pro Syrian and an extremist Christian. Looking at the chronology of these accusations I find it very difficult to establish a logical pattern except that of slander or A.B.A (Anything But Aoun).


Michel Aoun is the man who said that existence deprived of freedom is a kind of death, his “crazy” war of liberation raised generations of patriots willing to visit hospitals and jails only for there love of our country and freedom. These people formed the backbone of the 14th of March having listened to him preach the virtues of a secular Lebanon from the very beginning of his career. The only extremism in Michel Aoun’s Christianity is that of forgiveness or have we all forgotten that the rebirth of any nation has to start with reconciliation of all its constituents? Should we just eliminate anyone who has collaborated with Syria (which would be almost the entire political class starting with Joumblat and Rafic Hariri).


What is the difference between Nabih Berri and Sleiman Frangieh? They both represent factions of the Lebanese community that cannot be eliminated although they both collaborated with the Syrians until the last minute.


If the so called opposition is allowed alliances with Amal and hizbollah then Michel Aoun is allowed alliances with Frangieh, Murr, Karami and anyone else he wants, the only difference between both parties is that Aoun’s alliances are based on a political program whereas the other alliances are only based on parliamentary seats without a plan. Effectively speaking Aoun has introduced to parliament a wave of new faces combined with old ones that he has helped to reinvent. So often accused of not being suited for politics Aoun has taught us all a lesson in statesmanship while building difficult bridges between factions that are essential constituents of our beloved land. He has sped up the “forgive but don’t forget” process that is so desperately needed to start with what we, the people, need the most: reforms.


There are many things that General Aoun can be criticized for but now that he has put a foot into parliament why don’t we give him a chance with his reforms program, after all since all you skeptics say he is a populist then if he does not do his utmost to apply his promises he will loose the trust of the people and with that, the next elections. At least give him enough rope to hang himself or carry us all to a better Lebanon.                              

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