Aoun’s hypocritical speech for independence day

Al-Nahar, Lebanon, November 25

Anyone who listened to President Michel Aoun’s speech on Lebanon’s Independence Day would immediately realize that the intractable problems Lebanon is facing today are caused either by Hezbollah or by the one of his allies, including President Aoun himself. This is the case of the axes taken up in Aoun’s speech: the breakdown of the government, the crisis in Lebanese-Gulf relations, and the state of justice. The government’s obstruction is due to Hezbollah’s insistence on dismissing the judicial investigator in the Beirut port explosion, Tarek Bitar, from his post. Hezbollah’s problem with Bitar goes beyond its ability to prosecute presidents and ministers and is directly linked to a move by Bitar to deepen the party’s role in crime. All of the proposed solutions have failed to satisfy Hezbollah to date. Anything less than acquitting Hezbollah of all responsibility for the explosion will satisfy the party. On the second topic, Aoun knows very well that the controversial statements of the Minister of Information George Kordahi on the question of the war in Yemen and the attacks of the Houthis against Saudi Arabia were only the drop of water which broke the camel’s back in Lebanon’s relations with the Gulf. The Gulf states have long understood that Hezbollah is using the Lebanese government to harm them. Aoun suggested that a solution to the crisis could be obtained through a Lebanese-Gulf dialogue. But he ignores the direct and indirect messages sent to him and other senior Lebanese officials on the matter. The current crisis is not a crisis of relations, but rather an internal Lebanese crisis. The Lebanese government cannot be negotiated with, as it has become devoid of any practical power. It is just a puppet government of a terrorist organization which de facto controls Lebanon. On the judicial question, Aoun spoke of the failure of justice to fight corruption. But Aoun conveniently overlooked the fact that he himself allows cronyism and corruption. Aoun ceded extensive political power to his son-in-law, Gebran Bassil, who was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department, for his corruption. Bassil did not attempt to prove his supposed innocence and simply accepted the designation. And Aoun, who values ​​corruption, has entrusted his son-in-law with the task of “scrutinizing” all those who have been appointed ministers in the current government. Aoun’s complaint that “40% of his term” has been filled by the political vacuum does not arouse anyone’s sympathy. After all, Aoun turned the political stalemate in Lebanon into a political tool used for his own gain. Aoun, in his independence speech, complained about the catastrophe he and Hezbollah both wrought in Lebanon; a country that has permanently lost its independence to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and has been hijacked by a group of ambitious politicians whose thirst for power seems to have no bounds. –Faris Khashan (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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