Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

A Maverick’s trip to the hinterland -3

Posted by worriedlebanese on 23/12/2008

The Church of Maaloula

The Church of Maaloula

In the two previous posts sharing the same title, I first discussed the press’s reaction to Aoun’s visit and then the predictions surrounding his visit (and its announcement). Now I’d like to share with you my reaction to his visit.

At first I was taken aback. I was very uncomfortable when I saw the pictures of Michel Aoun entering the People’s Palace. Although I think the Lebanese government should have a smarter policy concerning Syria, one that would at least seem to be friendly towards the Syrian Government (Instead of having no policy at all and two different voices within the government, one overly hostile, the other overly friendly), visits by Lebanese politicians to Syria still send shivers down my spine.

But when I saw (and read about) the way Michel Aoun was received by some Christians in Syria, I felt that this visit surely has an important communal significance, at least within two communities, the Christian one and the Sunni one.

Aoun’s visit to Syria presented Syrian Christians with a Lebanese Christian Leader that isn’t hostile to their country, one that had shown his independence by fighting for the independence of his country, but that express no hostility towards Syria after the end of its occupation of Lebanon. What some Syrian Christians said to Aoun during his visit will certainly find an echo within Lebanon’s Christian community.

For Lebanon’s Sunni community, this visit certainly represents the final proof of Aoun’s treachery and traitorousness (after his frontal attacks against the Future Movement and his alliance with Hezbollah). By dealing with the assassins of their communal leader he has become one of his allies, and in becoming one of his allies, he becomes an accomplice in Rafik Hariri’s assassination.

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