The True Aounist ايلي عون: العوني الحقيقي Elie Aoun/June 04/2019
The fate of Lebanon depends on having the right people making the right decisions. Despite all the negative news on the current situation, there is still a chance to save the country – by entrusting the right people with the task.
In a 1992 postcard that I received from General Michel Aoun, he wrote me saying: “If we gather all the efforts, If we keep taking care of the seeds we planted, The whole world will understand that we have the right to want Lebanon. Waiting to meet you in a liberated Lebanon.”
He sent me that postcard because he knew what I did for Lebanon, behind the scenes, and what I am capable of doing.
During my first visit to him (in 1994) in France, when I entered the room and Fayez Karam announced my name, General Aoun told those who were present in the room with him: “Here is a true Aounist.”
Although I was working with a good conscience without consideration to who is leading what, I had opportunities to be in a very advanced position within the so-called “Aounist Movement” and lost those opportunities for reasons that I will not discuss here. I honestly felt that the priority was for me, not to the ones who lead the Free Patriotic Movement today – which is very different than the true patriotic and constructive approach that I and some others had within that Movement.
Unfortunately, the Aoun Presidency is turning out to be one of the worst presidencies in Lebanese history. If I were with the President in the Palace and allowed to do what is necessary, it would have been one of the best presidencies. What can one person do? The right person can do many things.
Today, nobody wants to take responsibility for the economic situation and a multitude of other problems. Most of the adopted economic solutions will make the situation worse, not better. Personally, I am willing to assume responsibility and reverse the downhill path – provided that I am given the authority to implement what is necessary. I will do alone what the cabinet and the parliament combined will not be able to do – not now or anytime afterwards.
What proof do I have to what I am saying? In his heart, the President knows that what I am proclaiming is true.
Why not share the solutions with the public or the existing political leadership? They are not qualified to implement them, or they will use well-intentioned solutions for ulterior motives.
In 2004, I advocated a “peaceful” withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon to avoid the negative ramifications on Lebanon of any military or non-peaceful action against Syria. Instead of pursuing a balanced patriotic approach, certain leaders fell in the arms of the Syrian regime and became defenders of all its transgressions. Today, everyone knows the impact of Syria’s war on Lebanese politics and society – ramifications which could have been avoided with proper planning.
In 2005 and early 2006, I presented a strategy to resolve the Hizbollah issue by distinguishing between its military and political arms, having in mind the following objectives: (1) to place the “criminal branch” of Hizballah out of business, (2) to protect the patriotic elements of Hizballah who could be an asset for the country, (3) to reach a peaceful arrangement and avoid any internal military confrontation over Hizballah’s weapons, and (4) to protect Lebanon from attacks by outsiders using the Hizballah weapons as a pretext.
Here again, instead of pursuing a balanced patriotic approach, certain leaders fell in the arms of Hizballah and became defenders of all its transgressions. What made the matter worse is that
the well-intentioned policies were used to preserve the evil which were aimed to avoid and a source of personal enrichment and advancement to certain individuals from money and favors sent to them by Syria, Iran, and Hizballah.
Today, many of Lebanon’s problems (without ignoring political corruption) emanate from ramifications of Hezballah and Syria – the issues which were not properly resolved throughout the 2004-2006 period.
Also, during that same timeframe, I wrote an article mentioning the upcoming rise of Russia’s influence in the region – at a time when no one was giving Russia any major importance. Today, Russia’s influence (such as in Syria) is apparent to everyone.
Without going into further details, there were many other matters mentioned and could have placed the country in a better position – but were not implemented.
Therefore, I cannot declare publicly what I consider to be solutions simply because they will be misapplied and used for personal advancement rather than patriotic achievements.
I can humbly say that I am at least ten years ahead of those who rule the country. If they honestly want what is best for the nation, they can prove it by giving me the opportunity to implement what must be implemented to save it. They cannot be entrusted to implement the solutions themselves.
The President has half a term left. The second half will be worse than the first if he does not have the right people around him. Even if he hires 100 consultants, they will not benefit him more than I will. At the same time, I am not interested in being a “consultant.” Saving the country requires that I have the authority to do what must be done – and not to explain to others what they should do.
Even if we have to presume that they have the best of intentions, the existing major political parties do not have the proper solutions for the country. Demonstrations against them is not the solution either. For any politician who claims that he seeks the well-being of the nation, and even if we suppose that his statement is honest, he could easily look beyond the political parties to find true patriotic Lebanese and provide them with the chance to implement a better path for the country. Otherwise, the politicians would be confirming to be the losers, not us, by being lousy managers. In that case, we have to focus on whatever small positive/constructive measures that we can take independently, despite the political class that exists.
For all those who support the leaders of existing political parties, I say: remember that the leaders who betray those who die or sacrifice for the country are not going to be faithful to you just because you applaud or vote for them. Spend your time building yourself and truly patriotic individuals that you know, not the politicians. If you love your country, love yourself and protect yourself first more than loving the politicians that you support and are betraying you.