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General Aoun and Siding with the Wrong Front

General Aoun and Siding with the Wrong Front

Tuesday, 29 September, 2020 - 10:30
Jebril Elabidi
Libyan writer and researcher

Lebanon has become fundamentally different after the ammonium nitrate explosion at Beirut port. The status quo wherein Hezbollah is a ruling force that stands above the law has become rejected in the Shiite street before the Sunni street, and by the majority of the political parties as well. The Lebanon of political sectarianism has become terrifying and is thus rejected by the people and national forces, all of whom have chanted for a Lebanon that is “unified and devoid of sectarianism”.

Removing the claws of the Hezbollah militia, which has become a subject of debate, remains the requisite to achieving the street’s demands for a Lebanon that is decontaminated from sectarianism. Nasrallah’s party, the so-called “party of god” (Hezbollah), has transformed into a force whose encroachments are not limited to Lebanon. Indeed, it has come to export chaos and havoc, and allying with it, covering up for it or facilitating its projects, is considered siding with the wrong front.

The president, General Aoun, was originally a soldier in an organized army and is the disciplined national military institution's son. So, he knows the meaning of discipline in the military sense of the word, a quality that militias whose loyalties are not to the state and its authority lack. The harmony between the Hezbollah militia and an army general of Aoun’s stature is therefore incomprehensible. It cannot be understood or explained but in the context of intersecting political interests, which may be more akin to a political adventure whose consequences had not been accounted for, especially since Aoun had accused Nasrallah’s militia of being responsible for Rafik Hariri’s assassination.

The Lebanese state has suffered from the civil war that began in the 1970s and ended with the Taif Accord, which established a power-sharing arrangement without the need for the approval of General Aoun, his party or his sect and was reached despite his refusal to sign it at the time. Consequently, today, there is no need to court the Hezbollah for political gains that end with Lebanon’s decisions being hijacked by the militia and those who stand behind it.

In courting Hezbollah, General Aoun put the presidency in the same trench as the armed militia that is not subject to the state’s authority, as demonstrated by its explicit military interventions beyond Lebanese borders, in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and even the Gaza Strip and Libya. This state of affairs makes the Lebanese state legally liable for Hezbollah’s actions, since it is a political partner that shares power with the other factions that control the Lebanese government; everything that emanates from it is considered to emanate from the Lebanese authorities.

General Aoun should have freed himself from under the cloak of Hezbollah, which seeks to rule Lebanon with an Iranian ethos, in order to avoid becoming a partner in the party’s legacy of spilling blood in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

The Hezbollah militia has always justified its possession of weapons with the pretext of resistance, which has not achieved anything, even for Lebanon. It has only led to destruction; as Nasrallah himself admitted, this is what happened during the July war. The Shebaa Farms are still occupied, while the party’s only achievement has been exporting terrorism to neighboring countries. The Lebanese state will bear the consequences as long as the highest of its echelons of power sees Hezbollah as a political partner.

I think that General Aoun has to correct his position on the Hezbollah militia and abandon it so that Lebanon does not bear the consequences of the exploits of the party and its leader, inside and outside of Lebanon.

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