The Shift

A good friend of mine sent me this article and asked me if i can share it with you. Here it is:

Let me introduce myself: A former Aounist. Between brackets, the commonest joke around the street these days is "Q: what do you call a neutral Lebanese? A: a former Aounist"!! What makes this joke eerily black is the fact that it is sadly true. For the tenacious-dare I say- few who remain devoted Aounists and who look at us, their former brothers of the cause, in disdain I write this piece. May it help you in understanding the shift in "our" thinking.

I am not, nor will I ever be a political analysist. Whoever might critique my piece by pointing out to this fact, I tell you from the start: You are right, I am not a political prodigy. But do I have to be? I am a citizen of this country who once believed that the Syrian "presence" is wrong and found in the figure of Michel Aoun the embodiment of this idea. The Syrians left, Aoun came back. Although on the surface, he seemed to have become more than a sympathizer of the Syrian regime, I and many Aounists refused and still do refuse to believe that someone who spent 15 years of exile would suddenly become a staunch supporter of those who exiled him. No, this is not why I am no more a Aounist; nor are the general's alliances the cause for that shift. What makes me question my former stand is the general's amazing ability to focus on one goal and march to accomplish it without blinking, without caring for the disastrous consequences. Yes, the current government may have made many mistakes; yes the current government may not be representative of all the Lebanese, and yes the current government might have all the flaws that one can think of. But does this justify camping in the capital's heart for long days and nights thus putting numerous businesses and hundreds of employees out of work? Does this justify blocking roads, burning tires, and preventing people from moving freely? Does this justify the arrogant, hatred-fueling television talks? And most importantly, does this justify playing a role in bringing the country to the verge on an explosive civil war? Aren't there any other civilized ways to ask for changes?

The above questions are, I believe, legitimate. As a Lebanese citizen, I have the right to hear answers. As a Lebanese citizen who witnessed an atrocious and completely meaningless civil war, I have the right to ask that it never gets repeated. No matter what the reasons are, no matter how right the demands are, Aoun and others do not have the right to jeopardize the country's already shaken status quo. As a Lebanese citizen, I have the right to ask for no more hatred, no more years wasted in futile wars.


At Tuesday, February 20, 2007 11:37:00 PM, Blogger FaiLaSooF said...

The conflict is not a simple one. It's between two currents:

One supports a modern civilized prosper neutral country, where people abide by the law, respect democratic ways, and believe that we can help the Arab cause when we are strong much more than when we are weak.

The other supports a one party one logic dominant country, where human life worth nothing compared to soil, and where we all should die for the Arab cause of Palestine.

In short, one current wants a "western" model of Liban, the other wants an "orient" model of Liabn, regardless of what both sides are trying to advertise for.

This is why we can't meet in the middle, this is why half solutions are never true ones, and this is why the country is at the edge of total instabilty....

At Tuesday, February 20, 2007 11:39:00 PM, Blogger ziad said...

Its really sad to see those who had a dream and to see that dream shattered by the actions of a senile artillery officer. What most people forget is not the fact that so many people are leaving the ranks of Aoun and his clique, but those who are returning to the fold i.e LF.

The presence on the ground during the last democratic tire burning episode has proved once and for all the ill advised decisions being implemented by the bunker in Rabieh.

call me john.

At Wednesday, February 21, 2007 2:46:00 AM, Blogger Manar said...

One supports a modern civilized prosper neutral country, where people abide by the law, respect democratic ways, and believe that we can help the Arab cause when we are strong much more than when we are weak.

The other supports a one party one logic dominant country, where human life worth nothing compared to soil, and where we all should die for the Arab cause of Palestine.

those two paragraphs confused me. who is what exactly?

At Wednesday, February 21, 2007 6:42:00 PM, Blogger FaiLaSooF said...

what is there to be confused about??

two sides, two opposites points of view. One has a "western" model, the other has a "oriental" one.

No need to say who is who, it's obvious!

At Wednesday, February 21, 2007 10:05:00 PM, Blogger Manar said...

actually, although i know what you are trying to say, the substance of such rhetorical dichotomies is shallow. all you have to do is scratch the surface just a bit to see that your statement doesn't pass the test of logic.

At Thursday, February 22, 2007 12:08:00 AM, Blogger FaiLaSooF said...

why don't you scratch the surface for us and let us know what pass the test of logic?

point out how my analysis doesn't apply to reality, i'm more than happy to get different point of view than mine

At Thursday, February 22, 2007 12:08:00 AM, Blogger FaiLaSooF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At Thursday, February 22, 2007 12:51:00 AM, Blogger JoseyWales said...

Off subject:

Anyone know what's going on with openlebanon.org?

(old headlines keep coming up, and new ones are not there)

At Thursday, February 22, 2007 12:53:00 AM, Blogger Manar said...

ya failasoof,

one of the people in the camp who wants a "modern civilized prosperous country" is a feudal lord, the other became a leader because of cronyism, and yet a third is a devil-turned saint. now how those three have became heralds of a modern lebanon is truly beyond logic ...

and please note that this doesn't imply i am excusing the behavior of the other group, but these value-added words you used create differentials that seem to imply one party is better than the other.

p.s. i never mentioned reality, since reality is just a reflection of how we interpret events, and is thus subjective by construction.

At Thursday, February 22, 2007 1:03:00 AM, Blogger Manar said...


it's when blogs get changed to the new blogger system, for some reason openlebanon gets confused with the new rss feed.

that's to the limit of my knowledge :)

At Thursday, February 22, 2007 7:37:00 AM, Blogger Traffic said...


Accusing the leaders of March 14 of being feudal lords or war criminals is in my opinion the easiest way to escape from having to deal with the current political issues.
For starters, a March 14 guy could easily accuse the opposition of having a wanna-be god, an ex-militia man who has robbed clean the government, and an opportunistic megalomaniac, as leaders.
The point is we only play these games to run away from dealing with the facts. However deep you will scratch, it will remain that March 14 is defending the only legitimate remaining power in Lebanon that has so far escaped being turned into a simple tool in the hands of regional powers with agendas that completely oppose a prosperous and sovereign state in Lebanon.
The issue is that this is not about whose leaders are better, but an issue of what they and more importantly their large constituencies stand for.
Why would I care if I have a clean and respectable leader if he will not stand for what I believe in?

At Thursday, February 22, 2007 8:42:00 AM, Blogger Manar said...

dear traffic,

your comment is pertinent only if i had stated that one set of leaders is better than another. for all i care, a march 14 guy could accuse the so-called "opposition" of being those things; i know i do. the reason i had targetted march 14 is because failasoof implied that march 14 was better than the other group of fools.

it should be pointed out that stating (actually, assuming would be a better word) that march 14 is defending the only legitimate power is in fact just a rhetorical game that allows us to "run away from dealing with the facts." that sounds just like those who support HA by saying that HA defends lebanon against israel (and thus implicitly imply that it is alright for HA to continue with its armed existence).

now, if you could be as kind as to define what it is that march 14 (and "more importantly their large constituencies") stand for, i would be eternally grateful.


At Thursday, February 22, 2007 9:36:00 AM, Blogger Traffic said...

My dearest Manar,

If you are kind enough to reread your comments, you will see that the only way you chose to respond to failasoof’s comment was by attacking March 14 leaders while failasoof meant to expose that the current problem was one of differing ideas and “currents”. The point of my comment was actually to highlight how silly it would be to enter into such form of my leader is better than yours rhetoric.

As for “that sounds just like those who support HA by saying that HA defends lebanon against israel”. You are completely right. Hezbollah supporters have the complete right to present their arguments which differ from mine (at this point I refer you back to failasoof’s comment in which he states that there are two differing currents in Lebanon). But it is also my right as someone that does not adhere to Hezballah’s views to consider that Hezballah’s agenda conflicts with what I see suitable for Lebanon.

As for “if you could be as kind as to define what it is that march 14 stand for”, well without going into reciting clichéd words like democracy or freedom…, I will stick to more tangible and practical positions. March 14 hopes to completely sever Lebanon from Syria’s hegemony, bring about a fully capable and stable state, restrict the use and ownership of arms to the Lebanese army, retrace the Lebanese borders once and for all, revive the Lebanese economy, reestablish Lebanon’s place within the international community… I’ll stop here I guess.

Yalla Késsak,

At Thursday, February 22, 2007 12:03:00 PM, Blogger hillz said...

what is a "good" friend?

At Thursday, February 22, 2007 3:24:00 PM, Blogger FaiLaSooF said...

I think you didn't read my comment correctly, or maybe I wasn't clear enough.

I didn't say that March 14th leaders are better than March 8th. What I said in my comment is that I value what March 14th spirit's calls for (freedom,independent, human dignity, econming revival, and political neutrality when it comes to the arab-israeli conflict) much more than those of March 8th.

Those who know me and read my blog know that I believe in the principles of March 14th, and NOT just follow the leaders blindly. And I think that these values are the main reasons why so many of us support the movement, NOT the political leaders.

We can play on the words as much as we want to, but in the end we all know that March 14th side believe in a modern western Lebanese state, while March 8th still believe in the "oriental" model of a state. I don't want to be the ONLY side who is fighting Israel, when we all know that we can get all our rights by deplomacy, while the rest of the Arab states had either signed "peace" and enjoying good economical status, or they are "abusing" the Palestinian cause to farther supress their people. And I believe we can serve the Palestenian cause much more better when we are strong and neutral than we are now while we are weak. I believe that Liban has the chance to be the most prosper country in the Middle East, that Liban can be the "Beating heart of the Middle East", but we can't do that while we are insisting to go into meaningless wars with Israel. We have done our job, we have paid our Arab dept, and we did kick the israelis out of Liban, the rest of our rights can be acheived by smart diplomacy, something that we -Lebanese- are just excellent in.

March 14th has a clear agenda, with clear points. Such agenda can bring prosperity to Liban, that's why I support March 14th.

Now you are talking about the political leaders of March 14th. Well, let us be clear on this issue: ALL LIBAN'S MAJOR POLITICAL POWERS HAVE MADE THE MOST AWFUL MISTAKES IN THE HISTORY OF LIBAN, from both camps, March 14th and March 8th. All of them are to blame for what happened. Stop living in the past, they made mistakes and when they are to do other mistakes, be sure they will loose their popularity.

Let's judge them depending on what they are saying and acting NOW, NOT on what they once said. Because it's damn politics, and in politics, there are no permanent enemies nor permanent friends, but only permanent intrests.

thx for the effort man


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