I while back I was talking with someone * winks at Mr. Someone* about the post-war LFPM situation. The question we were discussing was: “where would the former Tayyar members go, if they are disappointed with the Tayyar (LFPM)”
The question is not simple at all. Yesterday’s Tayyar members can’t become today’s ‘ouwet, they’d prefer defend Aoun to death, whether he is right or wrong. It’s the result of the duality that exists in most countries. In the USA you have the conservatives and the Liberals (if I am not mistaking the names lol), in France you have the Right wing and the Left wing. Sometimes it’s two opposite parties but most of the times it’s the aggregation of numerous parties in two main groups. In Lebanon it’s religious group has it’s own duality, the Maronite scene has the ‘ouwet and the Tayyar. But the situation in Lebanon is a little different, we might be democratic in theory but in fact we are a mix of the feudal and the democratic systems. Lebanese political parties are just the “legal version” of the political families. Parties are the group of people who follow the political figure or family. It’s like using Occidental terms to express concepts that are typically Lebanese or maybe Oriental.
This archaic system is a great obstacle facing the democratization of my country, since it means that the parties that we have rarely renovate themselves. The politician is not the representative of an ideology; he is the ideology and the center of the philosophy. People blindly follow their leader.
Let’s apply this to the Aoun dilemma… not that he is worse than others, 99% of all politicians are like him but since we are talking about the Tayyar now, we are going to talk about him.
Michel Aoun gathered a lot of followers. Took them to an impossible war against Syria, then to a shameful war against the main Christian faction back then… Ok, that was a mistake for which he dearly paid with 15 years in exile to France.
In his absence the Tayyar re-organized itself and renovated its figure. They drew a whole new, modern and opened face. But then when Aoun came back he changed everything. Because Aoun IS the Tayyar, regardless of what that group wishes for itself, they are eventually what Aoun wants them to be. He did not preserve the new face of the Tayyar. But above all he failed to preserve his own values: Fighting the Syrians and centralize the power in Lebanon.
So what would the Tayyar members do?
In a normal, democratic system Michel Aoun would have been deposed from the Tayyar and replaced with someone that answers better the aspirations of the Tayyar. Unfortunately that’s impossible.
What happens à la Libanaise, is that the members can either keep on supporting Aoun regardless of the mistakes, that’s the choice that most choose.
They have to find a small nuance of the same group. For example, Aoun only appeared in the 80s, right? Hat’s almost 2 decades ago, those who are actually older than that weren’t always Tayyar members, and in the past they had other loyalties. And when Aoun will cease to represent them they will remember those loyalties.
The proof to my words? Jounieh! Jounieh’s an excellent indicator that I can talk well about. Jounieh’s traditionally no one’s land. It’s diverse and many outsiders live here (people from other regions).
During the 2005 elections Jounieh voted for Aoun. The Tayyar was very representative everywhere. The ‘ouwet sympathizers either voted for Aoun also (there were many of those) or kept a low profile since the ‘ouwet were weak.
After memorandum between Aoun and Hizballah, the Tayyar members calmed down, while the ‘ouwet members starting drawing their symbols everywhere. But these ‘ouwet members are mainly outsiders.
During and after the war, the ‘ouwet and the Kate’eb became even more active. The war was also very devastating economically in Jounieh, because this city relies on beaches, restaurants and such activities.
Since the Mass in Hariça, a new sign appeared, not the ‘ouwet and not the Tayyar… the “Golden Cedar”. The Golden Cedar is the symbol of the Ahrar, a small political party that orbits the Chamoun family. This party was the closest thing to being laic in Lebanon, before the Civil War, they had significant weight; it was the Christian party to attract the most Muslim audience. Its founder, Kamil Chamoun, was one of the Lebanon’s most successful Presidents; he actually managed to stand in the face of Abd El-Nasser and the Syrians when even the UN didn’t want to help.
The Ahrar were violently absorbed by the ‘ouwet under Bashir’s rule. The Party quickly deteriorated especially since it refused to join the other side and couldn’t reorganize itself.
When Michel Aoun appeared he was the perfect alternative for the former Ahrar, they quickly joined him and became his best allies. Even though their leader, Dory Chamoun, stands firmly with the 14th of March movement and criticizes Aoun publicly, the vast majority of the Ahrar are also Tayyar members, they vote for Aoun against their own candidates.
The reappearance of their symbol is a sign that the Tayyar members are questioning their loyalty to Aoun. Personally nothing would please me more than seing the Ahrar come back and become strong again, Dory Chamoun is someone I admire dearly and the Ahrar were a great party as far as I know. Aoun’s just a political child in comparison with Dory.