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The President and the imprint

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Every observer of the biography which is full of events, positions, confrontations, and battles of the President General Michael Aoun will know that through his arrival to the presidency, he culminated this rich process. In his biography he has what qualifies him and at the same time beholds him the responsibility to be a different President, because there is no president among the presidents who preceded him had such a biography which its full of sacrifices, positions, confrontations, alliances, major issues, ideological issues and strategic projects and which all of them are filled with an extent of remarkable culture, philosophy, and strategy, so he is not an ordinary president in the history of Lebanon. This means that the president who will administer his responsibilities under the limit of the Constitution on one hand, and in the mid of the multi political minefields internally, regionally, and internationally on the other hand is concerned strongly to search how he will be immortalized by the history, so he is obsessed with the image he will create and which he will associated with it for years, decades, and maybe forthcoming centuries.

The President Bashar Al-Assad who was the subject of the mass media that dominates on the Western and Arab world within a programmed campaign to distort his image says that he does not ask or wish but to be treated fairly by the history, to be remembered as the most prominent fighter of the terrorism, and who have provided a great service to the humanity by preventing the rootedness of this scourge and its control on the fate of the humanity. It seems from the performance and the behavior of the leader of the resistance Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrollah that he won the status through which he will be immortalized by the history as the maker of the major transformations in the Middle East, whether concerning the balances of the Arab-Israeli conflict or in the balances of the war on terrorism. It seems as well that the Russian President Vladimir Putin has snatched what he will be described by history as the new Caesar of Russia who has rehabilitated to it as a superpower. While the Turkish President Recep Erdogan seems futile in gaining what he wanted from the history as a new inheritor of the Ottoman Sultanate, as  the US President Barack Obama seems failed in reserving a seat among the historic presidents of his county despite his attempt of imitating Abraham Lincoln and emulating his biography. Therefore, the success in playing with history is not easy and the good intentions and the good biography are not sufficient, it depends on the good behavior and forethought.

The history did not have a seat for multi-titles figures, because there is no place for luxury. It is just restricted with the distinguished feature which the leaders succeed in determining it carefully and subjecting all the aspects of their performance in its favor, without neglecting these aspects. The imprint is dominant and has a compass of one direction. In the case of the President Aoun who is more qualified than his predecessors to reserve this seat, this depends on his ability of forming the difficult balance in a way full of mines, temptations and risks between the position of the President of the Republic including the opportunity of the winning of the team he leads, in addition to shares, positions, gains, and spoils, and the prestige which he occupies in the heart as a leader who aspires towards history, knowing that the balance between position and the prestige is difficult and complicated as the balance between two successes, the success of the promise of change, and the success of the era due to the considerations of the team, the party, and the popularity, knowing that the requirements of each one of them are incompatible with the requirements of the other, But the balance of the relation between the success of the era which based on settlements and the promise which based on principles  is the most difficult. In addition to the third direct balance between two allies whom are needed by him in his presidential presence, the presidential alliance which enabled him from ensuring the quorum of the winning although it includes two teams that do not resemble him politically; who are the Lebanese Forces, Al Mustaqbal Movement, and the political alliance, there were allies who caused pain to him and tension and anger to his followers through their positions toward him as a presidential choice, the most prominent of them is his problematic relation with Amal Movement and Marada Movement, the balance here is between non-emotional and non- interest responsibility  and an emotional and an interest responsibility at the same time, so here is the difficult.

The President the General Michael Aoun is concerned with accurate realistic choice of the distinguished feature which he wants to leave and which he wants to achieve, according to him it is possible, and it is the additive value which he leaves to his country, people, history, and region, he has the experiences of those who preceded him and left their imprints as the three presidents the President Bshara El Khouri, the President Fuad Chehab, and the President Emile Lahoud. Each one of them was granted to the imprint which he left in similar conditions till it surpassed the other aspects of his performance. The President Bshara El Khouri was the maker of the two equations the Charter which whatever the formulas of the Lebanese political regime change on the basis of the sectarian representation, it will not allow anyone to transcend him in two issues;, which are the basis of the Charter. The first one is bartering the independence of France by the abandonment of the unity with Syria and thus the end of the Lebanese entity, the second is a distinguished status of the Christians in the political regime that is embodied by the parliamentary and career structure and the presidential powers together in exchange of a leading position and role for Lebanon in raising the banner of the issues of the Arab and the Muslim worlds. Whatever it was said that the General Aoun can surpass the limit of Bshara El Khouri’s imprint it would be impossible, because keeping the essence of the Charter along with correcting the defect in the form will be the possible internal limit from a pure Christian position, and the insistence will be on more interference in confrontations that will spoil the era and the promise together. The President Fuad Chehab was able with determination that was not less than the determination of the General Aoun to build the reformist institutions of the state , but he was strong due to three characteristics that are not available for the General Aoun, the first one was the dominant rise of the leadership of  Gamal Abdul Nasser in the Arab World, Second, the full powers given to the President of the Republic as the exclusive responsible for the executive power supported by ministers whom he appointed and among them he chooses a leader for them . Third, his liberation from the obligations of the popular leadership, as an individual leader that has no popular base that owes him allegiance and he owes them presence and strength, as he was liberated from the burdens of  popularity he was liberated from the obligations of the regional and the international considerations and was liberated  from the settlements of the interior to be able to rule, while the President Emile Lahoud has made his central issue supporting the choice of the resistance until victory, a full partner does not pay attention neither to the international nor to the regional nor to the popular relations and nor to the status among the Christian leaders and their political, religious, and partisanship institutions, supported by a rare historical moment of the victory of the resistance in the south along with the arrival of Bashar Al-Assad strongly to the presidency in Syria,  and giving the necessary sources of power to the success of the track of the President Lahoud in playing a role in Lebanon.

When the President Bshara El Khouri tried to go further he failed as the President Fuad Chehab and the President Emile Lahoud. Whatever it was said that the President Michael Aoun is able to surpass one of the three presidents through the imprint which each one of them has left then it is delicacy, adulation and denial of the truth. The presidential track will not allow the President Aoun in Lebanon but only to manage the authority among the difficult regional balances and to manage the authority in the heart of the difficult settlements Christianly. The reformist track of the President Aoun will be doomed with achieving the best possible and the bet on accumulating the slow stable achievement  but the difficult, moreover, the supportive track of the resistance will be the indirect protection and the prevention however not taking the first place in the way which the President Lahoud followed. Thus the question about the imprint becomes whether legitimate and necessary?

The imprint which is needed by Lebanon from the President the General, which no one else can provide is to put his political regime outside the circle of the organized ruin which drives it to the civil war every quarter of a century, and keeps it legitimate to the external interventions, the moment is favorable and the balances of the forces are open to them. It forms itself the Christian presence in the East which the authoritarian Christianity will not bring to it but only the unwillingness of the Muslims and their hostility. So the hope of ending this issue is more important than the bid with gains and positions which the others tempt him with. This is the mission of the historic leaders. The modernization of the country and the society is the Christian, the reformist, and the resistant recipe at one time, a modernization which is provided by Lebanon to the entities of the region which will witness similar settlements, a modernization that protects the communities from the partisanship, prevents the sects, and returns the spirit of the thought to the political competition, and returns forming the political scene on the medium and the long extent on the basis of the cross-sectarian  partisanship loyalties rather than the deadly sects and identities which make their followers interest in killing each other. The key word which the President the General knows well and in which he believes so much is the law of the parliamentary elections which depends on the relativity, through it the President will enter the history along with Lebanon.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,


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