Tuesday, May 24, 2005

We Don't Need An Alexander!

Lebanon cannot take another Alexander!

And I cannot say they did not try, that they did not spend the past week negotiating till the early hours of the morning...in the hope of striking a deal, of securing a front, a front that will bring about change, change at last.

Just when we thought the election race has been settled; Aoun emerges as a contender. In a democracy, he can and it's healthy to have diversity, to allow for choices, but I have this fear that his ego will be his downfall, ego being a fatal flaw. I am still in shock at Aoun's "Alexander" story: he is Alexander and the Opposition is represented by Persia??!...

Aoun wants to be the opposition of the Opposition--the embodiment of all oppositions. And I believe that he WILL be that opposition in Parliament, the opposition to any initiative coming from the Opposition, simply because it is from the Opposition.

It's important to note that although we saw PSP and Tayyar Al-Mustaqbal represenatives engaging in the 11th hour negotiations with Aoun, Aoun has issues with the Christian Opposition itself. Wherever there was an offer to place one of FPM's representatives in an electoral seat, Aoun would ask for another seat, more contentious and as if aiming to further divide the Opposition by making Jumblatt and Hariri appear as if they are compromising on their strategic Qornet Shehwan/LF allies, whether it be MP Butros Harb in the north or Gemayil's Kataeb in Zahle.

I think that if 18-21 year olds were allowed to vote, Aoun would win with majority of the seats he's fielding. This is because his rhetoric appeals to the youth: first his movement was undercover, which makes it appealing to "rebellious" youth; it defied the state, again attractive to the rebel in everyone of us; it aims to "prosecute" the corrupt and political feudalism, which is rhetoric common to many parties in Lebanon, whether it is LF, Amal, Hizbullah, the Commoners', among other leftist/rightist movements that are popular among college students; and finally his unwillingness to compromise, an absolutist stance which many youth identify with and love to cheer for. I was like that in college, "disgruntled" with the political elite, dreaming up a revolution from "within."

Past that age, I can see how we start to think in different ways, about economics and business, calculating the prospects of returning home versus that of staying in the First World, that of using the heart versus the head; we start to mourn the death of absolutes, where every color becomes a shade of grey...I believe in what is now a "pragmatic" view of mine, Aoun scares tourists, investors, many Lebanese in the diaspora, including me. He's extreme, unwilling to compromise, and frankly has a military background and wants to field runners up to Parliament who are of military background as well. He is reminding me of Lahoud when he assumed the Presidency; how he started "purging" the corrupt and shortly thereafter we suffered foreign investment flight.

I never had a Lebanese "za'im", was never raised to pledge allegiance to a political figure nor assume a local "assabiyyah"...but everyday when I read the news, I see only two figures who are working right now for a Lebanon that goes beyond these elections, I see only this couple gathering the investors and members of the business community to give them a glimpse of a better future for Lebanon and ask them to contribute to its prosperity, two figures who provide a sense of assurance of stability to many and exude a sense of wisdom absent of sensationalist rhetoric: PM Mikati and Saad Hariri. Of course, I'm not saying that they are savvy politicans, but I am only shedding light on an aspect we are so much in need of in our country and so urgently, namely to regain our economic/financial stance before the government announces its bankruptcy, to create jobs and prospects so we could all be not afraid of returning home soon.

As for politics: politics is what it is, shifting of alliances and rhetoric. I only hope that past these elections, we would be able to build for a better future. My bet is on the elections after four years; this is when we can see clearly the outcome of what has been said and done today.

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."

12 comments:

Mustapha said...

Your comment about the General being popular among younger people is spots on. It shows what the problem is with this guy: He is all ideals but no substance.

One of the most famous slogans in the American democratic primaries was this: "Dated [howard] Dean, married [John] Kerry". Perhaps more Lebanese are in a revisionist mood like you Doha. They dated Aoun but decided to marry someone like Nassib Lahhoud, Butros Harb, Saad Hariri or even Najib Mikati. Someone we can rely on to be prosperous. Not just someone who can enchant us with poetry.

I personally trust that the Lebanese have grown up and that we’ll be positively surprised in the polls.

Abu Takla said...

We DEFINITELY need an Alexander.
We have tried all the small lieutenants in town.
The question is: can he BE an Alexander?

cheers.

hummbumm said...

No alexander, he built no lasting institutions. we need dull party building, not following the great leader syndrome. I would much rather an Augustus than a mark antony. aoun seems to be walking the path of mark antony, charismatic, impulsive and tragic.

Maya said...

I couldn't agree more with your post! At this point, it is imperative to put our economy first. We can do this by attracting tourists and investors; this was one of the elements that Rafik Hariri was skilled in doing, if his son can keep it going... great!

Hussein said...

Doha,
Although I agree with your views on Aoun, I feel compelled to challenge your approach to the youth.

Please do not adopt that condenscending, patronizing attitude towards them. We should always be wary of mistaking cynicism and disillusionment for wisdom and maturity.

The debate about reason vs. passion has been raging on since ths Greeks. We might be rational animals, but without passion, we are sterile, inept, and useless.

Please do not let that flame within each of you die out. My dreams are what keep me breathing.

A heavy weight of hours has chain'd and bow'd
One too like thee—tameless, and swift, and proud. --Shelley

Doha said...

Hussein,

The flame within me has not died out! And I am in no place to condescend any group. And I still function with my heart and passion. But when I was a college student, I was "sheltered"...sheltered from the worries of everyday life. I was free to think and talk politics, to spend all my days doing school work, and work hard towards passing a class and dreaming of the next steps after college...Come graduation day, we start to face the real world, of securing a job, and when secured, of adapting to a routine, of learning the secrets of the trade, of planning around the future, etc...

Frankly, my view of things have changed; I gauge individuals by their actions and not by their words. This is all the product of life experience and has nothing to do with disillusionment. If I was disillusioned, I wouldn't be writing here; I wouldn't care. But I do care and I am active. When I talked about the youth, I was more or less relaying a picture from my personal perspective...and I in no way meant to generalize.

zaraza said...

I think General Aoun did the best to bring democracy back to Lebanon.
It is not healthy for a democratic country to have electorial known results. In addition to that Aoun had proven to be the only honest political leader to come to lebanon and maybe all the so called opposition is afraid mostly of his honesty because they don't have a clear conscious...

zaraza said...

I think General Aoun did the best to bring democracy back to Lebanon.
It is not healthy for a democratic country to have electorial known results. In addition to that Aoun had proven to be the only honest political leader to come to lebanon and maybe all the so called opposition is afraid mostly of his honesty because they don't have a clear conscious...

eyeontruth said...

Thanks for deleting my previous comment... looks like a one opinion's blog! live with it
Bye

Doha said...

eyeontruth,

I did not delete the comment. In fact, I usually get comment updates directly to my email and I did actually read your comment. I believe you did not post it by some mistake. Here, I will post it here in case you don't have another copy of it:

Hello everyone.
I am surprised by the diversity of thinking of the human kind. yet some people are blinded by too many factors that they become unrealistic and picky!
Ok, it is funny how you picked up the alexandre adjective just like "some media" picked it to criticise general aoun. I won't comment this because it is childish and ridiculous.
So now after 15 days then general aoun came to lebanon, what are you expecting. Are you expecting a great positive inpact on the economy eh? on the other side, we saw Mr Mikati's act for 15 years, and no one judged, now you say he he is the saviour ? People be real and give people what they deserv.

you know what is the problem with the lebanese? It is that they forget. They forget the thieves who robbed them all these years, they forget who lied to them all these days during the 15 years, they forget who put them in jail.
Just because they changed their mind in the last 3 monthes!

On the other side, they start saying nonsense about someone who has fighted for 20 years for his country just because they pick on "an example story" about alexandre (so funny), and because he did not make in 15 days what others could not make in 15 years!

I just want to see "what you call opposition" will do after the election regarding the economical and administrational reformation since they will be the first ones to be in jail.

In the end. I might follow someone who played and lost, but i won't follow someone who did win and cheated!

--
Posted by eyeontruth to The Lebanese bloggers at 5/28/2005 04:18:50 AM

Doha said...

Eyeontruth,

Now that your comment is posted, I like to answer you: first, and please remember that, I claim that I follow no leader in Lebanon. Do you know who's my hero? My savior? Who worked and fought hard for his country and for us over the past 25 years? It's my father. The regular Lebanese man in the Diaspora, the man who raised us to love Lebanon, stepped on his heart and chose to live in the "ghirbe" to build for us better prospects...and here I am with opinions and a blog.

So yes, not Aoun, Mikati, Hariri or Jumblatt...it's the Lebanese "citizen" who is a hero and a martyr. It's the Lebanese citizen who's going to build Lebanon and bring back to it its financial and economic prosperity. Trust me, the Lebanese don't need someone to tell them what to do when it comes to business and projects, we're smart and officious enough...all we need is to feel safe to give back to our country and to return; I believe that should be the job of any government at the mean time.

I respect General Aoun's sacrifices and struggles all for his country's sake; without such struggles no one would be a hero. I never want to "forget" that; I'm not naive to forget. On the contrary, my critical analysis towards Aoun started since his return to Lebanon and is based on his statements that I read in newspapers and read on TV.

I don't like to attack anyone; and I always give reasons when I criticize. I don't have hate towards anyone. All that I own are opinions at the end of the day. This blog is all about ideas and also "picking cues from the media", and why not?

eyeontruth said...

Doha, I hope u r wrong regarding general aoun, if u r right, we would be loosing our last hope at the moment.

I just want to give you a hint, Don't belive the media at the moment, it is an "election media" trying to ridiculise the others specially Future tv and al moustakbal newspaper, since everyone is making his own propaganda at the moment.
At the end don't belive nothing from what you listen to, and half of what you read (PM Hariri), and belive all your common sense and the history shows you.

I was not attacking anyone, i was just giving my point of view!
Thanks