Is Aoun behind Lebanon’s unrest ?

Aoun had a dream when he allied himself with Hezbollah. His dream was to use the militant group and its arms to get to the Baabda palace.

By Sami Haddad

One analyst who knows Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun told Ya Libnan: ” Aoun had a dream when he allied himself with Hezbollah. His dream was to use the militant group and its arms to get to the Baabda palace , but when that dream turned into a nightmare following the election of Michel Suleiman as the president of the Republic, he switched to plan B dream which calls for controlling Lebanon through the ministry of interior.”

March 14 MP Mohammad Hajjar asked on Wednesday

“Are there those who want to show that Interior Minister Ziad Baroud is incapable?”

The timing of recent riots in Roumieh Prison raises “question marks,” he told MTV.

“Are there those who want to show that security in the country is not good?” Hajjar added.

Hajjar did not directly accuse Aoun of being behind the unrest in Lebanon but his statement is a direct reference to the dispute over the ministry of interior between Aoun and President Michel Suleiman.

Lebanon has been facing during the past few weeks several incidents that are aimed to undermine its internal security . All these incidents seem to target Lebanon’s interior minister who is closely allied with president Suleiman.

Here are some of the incidents:

– The kidnapping of the 7 Estonian tourists in the Beqaa valley, a Hezbollah stronghold

– The attack against the US embassy tourists in southern Lebanon, another Hezbollah stronghold

– The Roumieh prison riots

– The protests by the relatives of the Roumieh inmates in Baalbeck and southern Beirut suburbs including the Beirut Airport road.

Just like he made it very difficult for outgoing PM Saad Hariri to form his national unity cabinet back in 2009 by insisting on a disproportionate share in the cabinet, Aoun is repeating the same scenarios with PM designate Nagib Mikati.

Aoun is reportedly insisting on 12 portfolios out of the 30 member cabinet that Mikati is trying to form. Aoun is also insisting on being allocated the ministry of Interior.

President Suleiman is reportedly fully aware of Aoun’s intentions and for this reason he will not allow Aoun to control the ministry of interior under any circumstances. After all, the analyst told Ya Libnan: “Awarding the ministry of interior to Aoun will put the whole internal security of Lebanon under Hezbollah’s direct control. Such a situation will be extremely dangerous for Lebanon and will turn Lebanon into another Gaza or Somalia .”

The The Iranian and Syrian -backed Hezbollah brought down PM Saad Hariri’s government on January 12 over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) imminent indictment which is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005

Mikati was appointed in January as the PM designate with the backing of the Hezbollah March 8 alliance and MPs Walid Jumblatt and Mohammad Safadi . March 14 leaders have repeatedly said that intimidation from Hezbollah’s weapons helped secure the parliamentary majority for Mikati’s nomination.

Jumblatt and his PSP parliament members reportedly switched allegiance to Hezbollah’s PM candidate, following threats by Hezbollah.

Jumblatt, Mikati and Safadi were all elected on March 14 electoral tickets during the 2009 parliamentary elections.

Lebanon is already suffering from the current instability in Lebanon and the takeover of the country by Hezbollah:

. Lebanon is still without a government , despite the fact that only the Hezbollah led March 8 is trying to form the cabinet on its own.

. Hezbollah’s interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain has already resulted in a travel ban , which is bound to negatively affect Lebanon’s economy .

. The attack against the US embassy tourists has already resulted in a travel warning by the US against travel to Lebanon.

. The US arms shipments to the Lebanese army have been frozen since Hezbollah took over the parliament majority in Lebanon.

Summer is behind the corner and any further destabilization will be the kiss of death for Lebanon’s economy.

Aoun should realize that the situation in lebanon is extremely dangerous and cannot go on like this .

It is true that president Michel Suleiman does not command a parliamentary bloc that will entitles him for a share in the cabinet , but he was elected by 118 of the 128 member parliament.

Caretaker Minister Boutros Harb was quoted the other day as saying ” Suleiman should get a bigger share in the cabinet because while Aoun has 27 MPS , 118 MPs voted for Suleiman”

Time for Aoun to think about Lebanon for a change