Monday, May 09, 2005

My take on Aoun and the Tayyar

Aoun's national credentials appear to be spotless. His major advantage, in my opinion however, is that a significant component of his supporters are young, patriotic, relatively secular, educated, and dedicated to improving the status quo in Lebanon. A lot of the ones that I've met did not join the Tayyar for personal benefit or glory, but rather to sacrifice for what they perceive as a better future for Lebanon.

I personally identify with that constituency more than the constituencies of all the other politicians in the Lebanese political landscape. They seem to be the only group that are not in the political game for themselves, but rather are genuinely motivated to move the country forward, and see Aoun as the individual who will clear the path for them.

The onus is now on those (mainly) students that I am talking about. The future of the Tayyar depends on them, not Aoun or the other geysers in his entourage. I am waiting to see what their role will become as the Tayyar enters mainstream Lebanese politics. Will it turn to just another “party” that is a mirror reflection of the other political entities in Lebanon, or will it become a new kind of force – one that I can admire?


Mustapha said...

hey guys, what's the deal with removing your last names? :)

is there any reason we should be aware of ?

Raja said...

don't worry mustapha. It's nothing you should worry about - nothing to do with Lebanon.

Charles Malik said...

I like your take.
I've been commenting quite a bit on Aoun over at LPJ. The argument here (and on the net primarily coming from Canada, ie Marsden) is against Aoun.
But what you point out is rather apt. Aoun's supporters are all young and idealistic. Some have crazy ideas, but they all want something better for their country and do not believe in sectarian rivalry (even if they are all Maronite - I'm speaking from experience).

Anonymous said...

According to what statistic are you basing your "they're all Maronite" on?

Raja said...

even if they really are all Maronite, I don't see that as an insurmountable problem. I believe I speak for many others when I say that the attitude among a lot of the "non-Maronites" is wait-and-see.

The questions that need to be answered are the following:

1. Will the Tayyar continue to reach out to other sects? or will it close its doors now that its main policy objective has been accomplished?

2. Will the Tayyar morph successfully from an opposition movement into a national political party that partakes in effective governing?

3. Finally, one of my biggest criticisms that I used to share with my Tayyar friends is that they never had an agenda - except of course, getting Syria out and regaining independence. The response I used to get was that they had to get the Syrians out first, and then think about a national agenda. So now that the Syrians are out, I would also like to see what kind of an agenda they will be able to come up with. So far, Aoun has mentioned corruption - but that is simply lame! Every third world "president" promises to tackle corruption! It's become the most worthless promise in the world.

In my opinion, a major factor that will play into what the future holds for the Tayyar is how it deals with internal power struggles:

Every movement/party has them, and now that the Syrians have left, the glue that holds the Tayyar together is slightly less strong. Therefore, if the Tayyar does try to come up with a national agenda it might have some real internal struggles as different groups vie to get their issues on the agenda. Of course, the Tayyar might decide to completely avert that process in order to avoid internal divisions, and focus on "identity politics" shrouded in the cloak of "modernism/westernism vs. traditionalism". If that turns out to be the case, then it's game over - they'd become just another Lebanese "party". I sincerely hope that is not the case.

Anonymous said...

I liked ur point of view but i can assure u that the TAYYAR will STAY the most anti-sectarianism political movement and the only new kind of force u and everyone else can admire.

P.S.:They're not all Maronite!!!