A Lebanese Abroad

Opinions from an opinionated Lebanese abroad about Lebanon's politics, business and the future of a United Lebanon.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Can Lebanese politicians learn how to 'really' work together?

On the heels of Michael Young’s article with a shocking headline “Lebanon’s Christians must manage their decline”, Nayla Moawad made a precedent by attacking General Aoun on the ownership of March 14th. This marked the first serious bickering amongst Christians. She even indirectly took a shot at Geagea by saying that it was the March 14th gathering and the alliance with Hariri and Jumblatt that contributed to his release. I hope this is the last time Christian politicians attack each other in such a way.

While Moawad got her “15 minutes” of headlines, I am very disappointed by this cheap shot, designed to bring more attention to the Qornet Shahwan gathering rather than serve the national interest.

I am also disappointed by Aoun’s persistence in taking too much single handed credit for the Syrian’s departure and the March 14th demonstrations.

Why can’t we all acknowledge that this was a collective effort that all Lebanese people and parties proudly take ownership in, without lessening the role of the others?

An objective analysis will surely reveal that Syria’s departure and the re-birth of freedom in Lebanon was the result of several factors and circumstances that all coincided around the same time, the same place and were accelerated by the assassination of Hariri on February 14th.

We have to learn to work together and stop stabbing each other in the back with the mentality of always trying to make the other person look bad. Political differences aside, the Lebanese still have a lot to learn regarding how to ally themselves around issues that are of benefit to the whole country in an even, and unselfish way.

This is an important part of the secret sauce of nation-building.

Note: Re: Michael Young's article, I don't agree with the last paragraph "Michel Aoun made a mistake in segregating himself at a moment when Christians need to be more involved in policy matters. However, his decision to remain outside the governmental game, and the fact that the system is functioning normally despite this, demonstrates that Christians, or at least the more influential leaders of the community, are not as essential as they used to be."

Believing that the "system is functioning normally" takes a stretch of the imagination. The fact is, the system isn't functioning normally, and not because Aoun isn't part of it. However, Aoun seems to be the only one who is objectively critiquing the flaws in the system.


Blogger Raja said...


I think one of the main reasons we've been turned off is that the excitment for Lebanon's future no longer exists! No one is talking about it in the political discourse anymore, and consequently we're not feeling it over here on the blogosphere!

If we're not working or excited about a better future, then why the hell should we write? Isn't everything we do about the future?

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nayla Moawad hit it right on the head. March 14th demonstration is the main reason that lead to the Syrians getting out, and to Aoun returning to Lebanon and Geagea getting out of the jail.
Although I was a big supporter of Aoun before he returned to Lebanon, I have become disillusioned with him over some of his alliances during the elections, and the fact that he hasn't uttered a single word against the Syrians, Lahoud and the intelligence bodies. What's even more disappointing is the fact he is constantly diminishing the roles of those who actually participated in the March 14th demonstration.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Charles Malik said...

I don't mean to sound petty, but Nayla Muawad is right and so is Aoun.

Without the pressure from Qornet Shehwan, Aoun would not be back and Samir would not be free. QS waited a long time to push the Geagea issue forward, but they must be thanked for their contribution in his release.

However, Aoun is one hundred percent on target when he says that QS and most of the other parties that were part of the Opposition don't really want democracy. We must not forget that most of the Opposition members are the same, old monied, clannish, and sectarian leaders as before.
An astute American who came to Lebanon in April and met with the Opposition leaders on myriad occassions mentioned to me that he did not believe that Nayla, the other Opposition members, or even Elias Attallah wanted true democracy. He thought that they just wanted Syria off their backs so that they could take full control themselves.
Aoun seems to have the same opinion.

6:04 AM  
Blogger ThinkingMan said...

LP- I agree with you that the "old opposition" is corrupt and not the standard bearer of democracy.
But the issue I was raising here is about "Taking credit for the Syrian departure and the start of democracy". While QS & others can be given credit for "starting" democracy, they most probably can't finish the job without Aoun who is for sure the standard bearer for clean democracy.
Anon- It's wrong to assume that one side was right and the other wrong when discussing a big issue such as March 14th. March 14th should be at least the ONE event that every one agrees on and rallies behind. Therefore, I was expecting that both Moawad and Aoun would be more conciliatory in their remarks by acknowledging the "teamwork" that made all of this happen.
What happens from that point forward is another question, but at least we must be fair in recognizing that March 14th happened due to SEVERAL FACTORS coalescing at the same time. Every body had a role to play, and each contribution added to the whole.
We have to stop this "selfish" attitude of boasting about personal achievements at the detriment of others. And for that particular case, Aoun is as guilty as Moawad.

6:21 AM  
Blogger khaled said...

I agree with you, what is also repelling is that Aoun said “the assassination of Hariri had nothing to do with the liberation.... it just made it quicker.....”

12:35 PM  
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11:18 PM  
Blogger alibond said...

I think what drove the Syrians out of Lebanon, was the USA excersising
its influence to help the 14 Feb come to power, Alas the USA does NOT do such things for free and has its own (MUCH LARGER)agenda for lebanon and the middle east..which Nayla and all the others dont seem to have the means to kurb or influence.
Trading with the devil is not necessarily fair.
My advice is while there still is time is to realign the governance of Lebanon around non secterian state rather than a multi secterian farm.

2:25 PM  

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