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Monday, October 17, 2005

Did the US snub Aoun?

In an interview with New TV, presidential aspirant Michel Aoun attributed his decision to postpone a trip to the US to the following:

They set appointments for me on the 11th, 12th and 13th of October. The congress was in recess at that time, so I asked for a postponement, they agreed and set new dates, but they haven't been finalized.
The US Congress did have one week of recess that ended Monday (17 October). But was Aoun planning on addressing the house of representatives? There were many briefings held last week, so political activity was not dead. Bush was in town, and so were other politicians as influential if not more. The US government was not on vacation, as far as I know. So to blame the postponement on the absence of politicians is not entirely accurate. It's either that the people who scheduled his trip could not find anybody willing to meet him, or the people he was scheduled to meet did not want to meet him anymore.

Washington is apparently mad at Aoun for switching sides and proving to be nothing more than an arrivistic politician (not that DC politicians are any better). He has banished his poor FPM apparatchiks to the twilight zone of hypocrisy by faking a political orgasm with Hizbullah (read Bassil's interview with al-Seyassah and tell me if you can be convinced that the FPM and Hizbullah can have more than an unsatisfying quickie) and forging alliances with the symbols of the Syria era. I am not against dialog between the FPM and other Lebanese parties. But Aoun is not the holy spirit of politics, and he cannot convince me of the purity of his intentions. Not when he says this:

The people have nominated me [to become president] and they attack me as a candidate.
I did NOT nominate Michel Aoun. Neither did "the people." But then, I should stop seeing the presidency as a national post. He clearly does not see it that way, no matter what he says.

The landscape is set up that no matter what Syria's real power is their connections and alliances set it up that no matter who gets power is going to have to be somewhat deferrential if not cozy with them. The only ones that can change that is the Lebanese and the Syrians have their claws everywhere there.
And do you see a plethra of Lebanese politicians willing to be bold and risk their life or political viability to do this?
You convey your disgust well.
The mere idea of Aoun or Hassan Nasrallah engaging in bedroom activity makes me want to assume the fetal position cover my eyes and ears and yell, "Make it go away!"

On a more serious note,Feltman has a huge amount of authority. Over a month ago, he was making public statements on behalf of Aoun. Today, positive sentiment from Awkar seems not to be falling on Michel.
The possibility of Aoun allying with Hezbollah and Amal in a vote of no confidence completely changed the dynamic. They went beyond the pale and have lost most of their bargaining position. Jumblatt, too, falls into the category of people who overplayed their cards. He attacked the government, as well, allying with Hezbollah and Amal against privatization.

One must remember that these parties were not just attacking Saniora, but the aid of the international community and the future of Lebanon. It has been no easy task by the United States to bring together international donors. The meetings that occurred in New York and Washington were no joking matters. And yet our pathetic Lebanese politicians went on the attack to try and make a small political gain.

The US refuses to play politics as usual. The stakes are too high and the non-Mustaqbal have too much power to stop this train and let Syria back on.

Authority is now in the hands of Saniora, as it should be.
Siniora might have the authority as you said, LP, but does he have the necessary power?

Put in another way, Siniora is at the bat, but he needs a homerun to score-- the other members of his team do not want to play ball.
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