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Willisms

« Bush Can Do No Right At The New York Times. | WILLisms.com | The Cold End To The Cold War. »

Lebanon: The Return Of Aoun.

Meet Michel Aoun, the latest wave in the political tsunami currently smashing the Lebanese political status quo.

michelaoun.gif

He's Christian. He's fiercely anti-Syrian. And he's been in exile in France for more than a decade.

The international establishment media calls him a "divisive," and "hardliner." His return from exile has inspired jealousy in prominent Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt:

“The assassination of Hariri secured the Syrian withdrawal, not the man who is returning to us this afternoon like a tsunami,” Jumblatt told reporters earlier Saturday.

Nonetheless, Aoun's return marks an important development in the journey toward Lebanese liberty, and his supporters are thoroughly energized behind him.


More background on Aoun, from the BBC:

aounbio.gif


And he's got some serious babes on his side:

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aounsupporter.gif

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aounorange.jpg

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Aoun's closest allies even have their own fans:

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Beirut is full of energy and ready to move Lebanon into the future:

beirut.gif

Aoun:

"Today is a day of happiness and joy," he said at a news conference at Beirut airport. "Lebanon has been under a black cloud that enslaved it for 15 years. Today, there is a sun of freedom."

In an attempt to intimidate Aoun and his supporters, a "bomb killed one woman and wounded seven people in a Christian port town north of Beirut on Friday."

The Pulse of Freedom blog responds:

We know that it is not coincidental that a bomb blast occurred in Jounieh the night before Aoun’s return to Lebanon. Perhaps they believe that all the victories the true Lebanese voices of freedom have achieved over the past couple of months could be overshadowed by new provocations.

Been there, done that.

We reiterate: beyond the politics and the disputes over the electoral law, there is a base of Lebanese who fundamentally want this country to develop, socially and economically. Stop using our land as a battleground for your petty disputes. We are sick of it…

Is Michel Aoun the figure Lebanon will rally behind in its drive for true freedom and independence from Syrian meddling? If the Babe Theory is good for anything, Aoun is a lock.

UPDATE:

Captain's Quarters has more:

Aoun may have lobbied the international community to get Syria out of Lebanon, but the Cedar Revolution erupted from those within Lebanon, not so much from those without. This dynamic will not be lost on the Lebanese electorate, who may discount that point somewhat with Aoun (who was forced into exile), but will definitely be felt with those who fled Lebanon rather than stick around to work for its freedom. It's a problem we saw with the Iraqi National Congress after the liberation of Baghdad as well.

A unifying leader will emerge in Lebanon. Whether that leader is Aoun certainly remains to be seen.

Posted by Will Franklin · 7 May 2005 03:25 PM

Comments

How does he find so many beautiful babes?...Where there is a Willisms.com there is a babe!...There are several man babes too!...Thank you for that! I appreciate the fact that WILLisms.com is an equal opputunity babe employer!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at May 8, 2005 01:08 PM

Good post.
The general's support surprised everyone; even his own supporters.
Next five big issues:
1)Get Geagea out of prison
2)Get a decent electoral law passed
3)Get Lebanese detainees out of Syrian/Israeli prisons
4)Have elections on time
5)Get Lahoud and Berri out!

Posted by: lebanon.profile at May 8, 2005 04:53 PM

Lebanon is full of hope and is looking forward to getting freedom and democracy on it's feet. I think they will do it! So far so good.

Posted by: Max at May 9, 2005 09:21 AM

You need a better memory. Aoun is unacceptable to non-Maronite Lebanese. You forgot to mention that as well as being anti-Syrian, he is also against anyone who wants to make Lebanon more representative.

What that means is that Lebanon needs representation to reflect its make up communally (i.e., downgrade the position of the Maronites, no more presidency), or it needs representation that treats all Lebanese equally by population, which will seriously curtail the favourable position of the Maronites (and urban Sunnis and the Druze).

Aoun is not capable of being the type of leader who can lead the Maronites to a more modest position. One does not need to rehash his past to acknowlege this.

Posted by: David M. McClory at May 11, 2005 01:22 PM