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."