“I come before you today to urge you to be true to America’s nature, to aid those aspiring to freedom, to strike a blow to terrorism [...] the genuine nature of the Lebanese people is reflected in their love for freedom and their affection towards America; and the genuine nature of America is reflected in its support of those who seek freedom [...] We have never lost faith – and we never will – that our natural allies in the free world will finally see (the Lebanese struggle with Syria) for what it truly is: a fight for freedom against terrorism and oppression.” General Michel Aoun – September 2003 – In the United States Congress for the Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act.
“Hezbollah is not a separate entity from Syria. It is under the Syrian operational control. 100 percent, no question about that. There are about 11 organizations of terrorism in Damascus.” General Michel Aoun – September 2002 – interview with CBN.com.
In a response to a question in the same interview of the Christian Broadcasting Network – with a part of it about the bad treatment of Christians and lack of freedom in Lebanon under the Syrians – mon général answered a question about the transfer of Katyusha rockets from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon: “Yes, since Lebanon was occupied by Syria, they extended the base of their terror operations to Lebanon.” The link to the transcript of this interview on his Tayyar.org has gone dead. The record has, obviously, been removed now.
“Enough is enough immorality and debauchery [...] I say that Syria is the closest to democracy without shame, whether at the social and religious level because the citizen in Syria has the freedom in how to live his life and this is not present in the countries that try to teach of human rights. Do women in these countries have rights and do these countries respect the right to freedom of religious belief? [...] this is not an Arab Spring but an Arab hell.” General Michel Aoun – May 2012 – during a speech in Platea theatre in Jounieh.
So how crazy can this man be? How confused and inconsistent can he be? How contradicting can he be? He is surely competing with Walid Jumblatt on these titles.
I must use a Lebanese expression here to his recent stances on Syria, owlak chou khas toz bi marhaba? Why the bad records of the Gulf states on human rights have anything to do the closeness of Syria to democracy?
How ironic that yesterday’s sucking up words to the Syrian regime came during a ceremony in the seventh anniversary of his return from exile i.e. when he was exiled by the Syrian regime itself. It must have been the “closest exile to democracy”.
The Patriach Bechara Al-Rai said something similar before, so may be they shouldn’t have moaned in the first place about the “injustice” the Christians experienced in Lebanon under the “Syrian occupation”, as Syria is the closest to democracy? if not, then allow it to be plural like Lebanon?
By the way, yesterday’s festival was the worst I have ever seen in boosting the personality cult we have in Lebanon. I saw that in speeches, songs, posters, interview and the whole ambiance. Moreover, mon général uttered some unnecessary and unprecedented anti-Semitic words about the reasons of persecution of Jews; he cited their inability to blend in their societies as a reason.
The definition of democracy is universal, but mon général is defining democracy now with the right to eat, drink and pray only, and not by freedom of spirit and speech. More than 14,000 killed, 22,000 arrested, 100s of thousands missing and 1 million refugees in Syria since March 2011 mean nothing to mon général. Yes, Syria is closer to democracy when it scores 0.1% ahead of some others who score zero! Surely this is the wrong benchmark mon général.
I wish mon général told us what’s his favourite democratic model, and why he doesn’t wish the Syrians to have an opportunity to try something closer to it. But that’s the problem with his argument, that any model he (or they) names, even the corrupted Lebanese model, is more plural than the current one in Syria.
Why mon général wants to have his political share in Lebanon in the system and fight politically with the president, but bans the Syrian opposition from doing so, giving the Syrian president full exclusivity. Although both himself and the main Syrian dissidents lived in France and sucked up to America in the same way.
Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God – Matthew 4:1-4
Photo credit: An Aounist Liberal lady with a Hezbollah flag - unknown source. It’s been sitting within my documents for 3 years, taken during 2009 elections. Please come forward if you wish to claim credit for it.