Press TV interview with General Michel AoUn

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Press TV interview with General Michel AoUn

Postby Ant0ni0 » Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:58 am

Aoun: Opposition has strong public trust (Part 1)

Sat, 26 Jan 2008 23 : 06 : 07

َAn Interview with Michel Aoun by Hussein Ahmed, Press TV, Beirut

Q. The ruling coalition finally accepted you as a negotiator for the opposition. You met the Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa and you meet face-to-face with Saad Hariri.

A. I usually don't ask that they accept, or refuse. The important thing is they did it. And we started dialogue on the Lebanese dilemma. I hope this dialogue helps lead to a solution.

Q. Do you believe a solution is in the making?

A. Whatever the outcome, if we don't reach a solution, it won't be because of me. The responsibility (for failure) will rest with the others.

Q. Do you believe that the meeting yesterday was merely symbolic?

A. Well, in one sense, it wasn't just symbolic. There was also an informative clarification on how the ruling group thinks and what they want.

Q. What does your heart tell you? Are you going to reach a coalition with the opposition?

A. It always begins with a wish. Now whether this wish comes true or not is something else. I hope we reach a solution.

Q. (In other words) the dream will not come true, right?

A. No, a solution or achieving this dream, is possible; reaching a solution is very, very important. If there is no solution, there will be negative consequences for Lebanon because of this inability.

Q. You are talking positively with me because you are afraid they will pin the blame on you, right? You don't want to say anything against your own coalition. Is that right?

A. We have to suspend judgments and we can't conclude things yet. The chances for success, and failure, are still there. We don't want to talk about success or failure or give false hopes to people or give them a negative picture. We are trying to reach a solution.

Q. General Aoun, you are an intelligent man. One of the most prominent figures in Lebanon. You have met many figures from the ruling coalition in the past and all these attempts failed. General, is this new initiative going to fail or not?

A. We always have to try, we were raised on the idea of always continuing to try and if things fail, we will have the honor of having tried.

Q. If the attempt fails, what are you going to do? Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah said the opposition will take decisive action. What kind of actions are we talking about?

A. There are diverse methods of voicing our opposition. There's talk, demonstrations, civil disobedience and negative actions. Until now we haven't decided on the best way to go. We will announce it in time.

Q. Perhaps again you will not succeed. And yet you demand?

A. The sit-in would have been solved. What comes next won't be a sit-in, it will involve movement and this means energy and directing this energy, and the authorities, and society might feel this immediately and in a more direct manner..

Q. Do you think this time people will listen to you and take to the streets and protest?

A. Our credibility with people and concern with public safety has made us behave very pacifically for more than a year now. Our intentions are peaceful, not out of weakness. We have the power. So people believe in us. Sometimes we tell them, 'be calm', and they are, and sometimes we say we need a bit more strength, and they're ready to give, because we deal with things responsibly. The nation is ours. If a glass breaks in the street, this is a loss for us. So, our peaceful actions are key.

I hope the authorities understand this before it's not too late, because our movement can also cause harm.

Q. General Aoun, do you believe that the March 14th alliance decides for itself or does the US dictate its policies?

A. They don't make their decisions. They might take a position and then change it next day. They have fights and debates among themselves and they say this is democracy. Some of them were against nominating a military man, whereas Walid Jumblatt, Ghassan Tueni, Hariri - the top officials didn't want a military man or any amendment to the Constitution.

Then 24 hours later, they changed their position.

Q. Who changed their position?

A. It certainly wasn't me. They deal openly with some Arab countries and the Americans. The Americans are the most important player in the presidency (debate).

Q. So they don't decide for themselves, America decides for them?

A. It's either them [the US] or another country.

Aoun: The US is against me (Part 2)

Mon, 28 Jan 2008 00 : 26 : 17

An interview with Michel Aoun by Hussein Ahmed, Press TV, Beirut
A. It's either them [the US] or another country. They are certainly under the influence of Western countries, and not just the US. But there's coordination between the West, the US and Arab countries. There is regional and international pressure on us regarding the presidency.

We represent the independence line, and they don't acknowledge our true strength, or that we represent true independence. Instead they just say we are Syria or Iran, which is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Q. General Aoun, does American want to punish you because of your excellent stances with Hezbollah?

A. Certainly, and some regional countries lack the courage to support us because they're given in. We are defending ourselves, and our steadfast people are the best weapon.

Q. So America wants to corner you?

A. Not just America. Arab states, European states as well. [They are] not just against us, but against the pro-independence line. Since I am a leading figure in this group, they are certainly against me. They are not embarrassed by this. Even Western envoys told me 'the Americans are against you. We cannot solve the problem'.

The US ambassador here said if Aoun breaks his ties with Hezbollah, he'll be the presidential candidate of consensus. My answer was clear and concise: "I prefer national unity to the presidency." I prefer being in step with the domestic pro-independence front to being a president separated from his popular base and national goals.

Q. General Aoun, you said those people in power are irresponsible. There is too much corruption in the government. Are those people in power corrupt people?

A. Certainly… without naming names, the government has run away from launching a financial investigation into squandering from the Treasury. There are many people involved.

Q. Is Mr. Hariri a corrupt man?

A. I can't accuse anyone… But Hariri hasn't been in office. But the current government is like a board of directors, and not a Lebanese government.

The direct responsibility lies with the official, and Hariri hasn't been in office, he's been an MP. The ministers who are corrupt can't say Hariri was responsible. If that person isn't actually signing things, the person responsible is the minister or prime minister, and the investigation will reveal what's happened. There are sensitive areas, and we need an investigation to determine responsibility.

Q. Is Mr. Jumblatt a corrupt man?

A. Jumblatt has had many problems… perhaps his responsibility has become publicly known and he said it himself once; he was in a corner and mentioned bribery, and that he evades taxes, and keeps two sets of accounting books, one showing a loss, for the state, and the real one, kept in his safe. That's what he's said, not us.

Can you try someone for what he's said?

Q. I met Mr. Jumblatt recently. I asked him why he doesn't speak to General Aoun. He told me, "General Aoun is a man who has no honor". I asked him why? He said, "When student troops invaded the palace in 1990, he escaped in a military vehicle and left behind his wife and three children."

A. I think Walid Jumblatt's lying. In 2004, I think Rene Alain, the French ambassador here, told al-Hayat newspaper about the details of the October 13, 1990. I have a document in French, translated, from 1990, which says the French invited me to the embassy to discuss a ceasefire. You can call Alain and ask him, in France, where he's mayor. I still have the authorization document.

Q. Why does Mr. Jumblatt hate you?

A. There is a popular saying, "affection comes in different types," while maybe hatred is more general. It has to do with his egocentrism and how no one else is good in his eyes.

Q. He is the only good man in the country?

A. Yes, although he says things, that he killed and stole, he demands to be thought better than others.

Q. So Walid Jumblatt is a killer and criminal?

A. He said that. He was asked once about what happened to the people he'd detained. He said he killed them all. He was asked about Lebanon being run by titans of money, and he said he was one of them that he didn't pay taxes. And he told you that he'd lied to the Syrians for 25 years. I am not saying this, he is.

Q. After all that he said against you, you are ready to meet with this man and build trust and confidence?

A He'd have to do many things before we trust him

Q. What does he have to do?

A. If he agrees, he'd have to stick to an agreement. This is important. This is a problem between him and the Lebanese people. There are 70,000 - 80,000 displaced from his region, and only 17% have returned, after 25 years.

Money was paid, but it didn't go to the return of the displaced. This requires the will of the state and of Walid Jumblatt to be corrected.

Q. You seem like such a peaceful man but when I interviewed him he said "I am not going to put my hand with people accused of murder. "

A. I think this is the case for me, not him. He was talking about me, not the other way around.

When he wants to say "murder" he should be specific. He's confessed to it but I haven't killed anyone. If there's a crime he should charge me. I think he's not courageous enough to say who I've killed. As a fighter and officer, in the army, I experienced all phases of battle. I'm a military man…he should remember when we had him under siege in Beirut, I sent soldiers to take him in a jeep, so that he wouldn't be treated violently.

They asked him where he wanted to go, these were my orders, and he went. I could have thrown him into prison.

Q. And you did not do this?

A. Yes, this was in September 1983 at his home in Mosaytebeh.

Q. General Aoun, what's your problem with the Head of the Lebanese forces, Samir Geagea?

A. A different political path and method of behavior... He's the opposite of me.

Q. Listen to what he said on the Christmas Eve: he said Michel Aoun pollutes rejoicing of the Lebanese, are you a polluter according to what he said? You pollute and you prevent people from rejoicing on the New Year eve. They did not enjoy their Christmas because of you Michel Aoun. This is what he said.

A. What did I do? To make accusations like that, if we had a state and a judiciary…these accusations should be turned over to the judiciary. These aren't responsible people. They're talking nonsense. This goes against my nature. How could I prevent people from enjoying their holiday?

Q. He said because of your absurd theories.

A. This would prevent them form being happy? It would probably entertain them, they'd laugh about it. A guy could entertain people all night by talking about me.

Q. You always accuse the ruling coalition of getting involved in a plot to settle the Palestinians in Lebanon. Do you have anything to prove this accusation?

A. The Palestinian issue is a permanent issue in Lebanon. The Palestinians have been here for 60 years and in the Taif Accord there is a paragraph that reads: "no settlement, partition or division"
However since then the government and particularly Siniora and the current ruling group which has been in power since 1992 have done nothing about this issue.

If there is no progress on the issue the Palestinians will be considered actual residents in Lebanon and the matter will be over. There should be movement on this issue that is holding political activities to achieve the right of return for the Palestinians.

Second, there was a policy begun by the late Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri.

During a meeting in Qoraytem, on 17 December 2000, he told his advisors that "settlement has been imposed on us and there is no way to get out of it."

Therefore the country's interests lies in further indebtedness, since there will be a bill for this
settlement - the compensation to be paid for this. Since then, Lebanon's debt has grown, and these debts are growing - we are drowning in debt.

So, first: Lebanon is borrowing money.

And second: the right of return.

Recently Bush said in Palestine that he will compensate Palestinian refugees and he didn't mention the right of return at all.

Q. Can you show me what you're holding in your hand?

A. This is a document - there is a copy of it at Lebanon's General Security Department, containing information about the meeting I've just mentioned. Borrowing is the interest of Lebanon, since settlement will be paid for with compensation.

Q. And this is a secret document?

A. In principle, these are public records.

Q. Is it top secret?

A. It is not top secret.

Q. Can I just have a look please? The document reads: 'top secret'

A. At that time.

Q. So Michel Aoun has a top secret document that proves that the ruling coalition is involved in a plot to settle the Palestinians in Lebanon.

A. General Security has this information and I receive a copy of it in the mail. A citizen sent the info in the mail and this document has a number.

Q. So the Patriarch has been involved in a plan to settle the Palestinians in Lebanon, do you agree with him?

A. I haven't seen Suleiman Franjieh to ask him about it, whether he has documents or if this is a reading of the Patriarch's policy, because there's been silence about this since 1990.

So I won't say anything until I see my friend and ask him about it. But the patriarch's silence on this has been strange. And not just him - no one has responded to Bush. Prime Minister Siniora responded but very timidly.

When I talked about settlement very harshly, Siniora criticized me for trying to show him up. It appears today that I was correct.

Q. Your ally Suleiman Franjieh said that the Patriarch is an employee at the American embassy, do you agree with him?

A. This is a language issue; a politician who is completely committed to something might be described in this way. Like when they accused me of things. This is like a conclusion people reach.

Q. Does the Patriarch hold a grudge against you General? Maybe because you're allied with the Hezbollah, or because of your problems in the past with him

A. I don't ask whether people like me or not. I ask whether I should be doing something for them or not or ask if I'm doing something wrong against them. If they like me or not, this is their problem. I'm doing my duty according to my conscience and convictions and take on the responsibility. People might hate me or like me but this is a result of public life. You always have people who like you or don't like you.

Aoun: I asked the Patriarch for clarification (the final part)

Wed, 30 Jan 2008 22 : 36 : 18

An interview with Michel Aoun by Hussein Ahmad, Press TV, Beirut

Q. General Aoun, you are a very honest politician, you're the most honest politician in Lebanon. This is what people say. Is the Patriarch biased towards one group against the other? Does he favor Samir Geagea over you?

A. This is what people say. I don't allow myself to make accusations, but it seems like Geagea is very close to him.

Q.Why do you think he favors Samir Geagea?

A. I didn't say that. But that's what it looks like.

Q.About a week ago you attacked the patriarch during a press conference.

A. No I asked him for a clarification, I didn't attack him. A minister said the Patriarch is covering the government. As it wields the president's powers, so I asked for a clarification, because he doesn't have the capacity to give such permission. He has an opinion but can't give legitimacy to a government wielding the president's powers. This is a mistake, and I wanted the public to hear the clarification.

Q.General during the civil war many in Lebanon that Samir Geagea the head of the Lebanese forces committed horrible crimes against innocent people. And your ally Suleiman Franjieh accuses him of the Ehden massacre that led to the killing of his father. Based on what I said is Samir Geagea a criminal?

A. Geagea was convicted of 5 murders, but not the Ehden. He was convicted of the attempted assassination of Michel Murr, the killings of Dany Chamoun and Rashid Karami. There were 5 in total but not Ehden.

Q. Is he a criminal?

A. That's what the court said…they were all death sentences, commuted to life, and then the amnesty was issued.

Q. Based on the ruling issued by the court, is Samir Geagea a criminal?

A. Why are you searching for a certain word? He was tried for murder.

Q. But look what I have found on the future movement website which was headed by al-Hariri…I saw statistics on the website that shows 40 percent of the voters believe Samir Geagea is a criminal. What's your take on that?

A. He was convicted of crimes and now it's something of history. Since he was pardoned and now he leads a normal life.

Q. Do you think that Geagea is working hard to gain control over the Christian community and push you aside? I mean he launched a campaign against you…

A. As long as he acts legally, that's fine. Competition in politics is natural.

Q. What do you think of his campaign? Do you think his campaign is practicing democracy in Lebanon or he just wants to throw you out of the political game? He can't stand Michael Aoun leading the Christian community.

A. I don't want to always criticize my rival - I want people to prefer my performance, so if he curses me or something, I think the public will be mature enough to reject this. Or if they support his performance, then he can represent the people.

Q. But now you represent the Christian community and you want to be the president of Lebanon.

A. No, there is a candidate for presidency and a session on 21 January. So if there is an agreement between the government and opposition, and I represent the opposition General Suleiman might be elected. But there is no consensus yet.

Q. Do you think that nominating Michel Suleiman by the Americans is an innocent nomination?

A. No, his naming took place due to an understanding between the Europeans led by the French, through their initiative with minister Kouchner, while Syria and the US also took part in this decision. This is what I said at the beginning. There is international pressure on us because we are pro-independence. When it comes to elections and political issues.

Q. General Aoun, Michel Suleiman visited Walid Jumblatt, Samir Geagea but he refused to accept your dinner invitation. Why?

A. He had been visiting me earlier, so it would have been an additional visit, and not one that was necessary.

Q. Just as simple as that?

A.To be fair, another person suggested the idea; it wasn't an invitation from me, which was refused. This other person, who was mentioned by Franjieh, brought up the matter. And he said no, it wasn't appropriate, which is his right. It's not an insult.

Q. Why do you think it was inappropriate for Michel Suleiman that he didn't come and visit you?

A. You'd have to know about his personal situation…

Q. But if I were him I would accept the invitation.

A. If I had been in his place, maybe I would have accepted. We can't talk about another person without knowing the reasons why he said no.

Q. Some political analysts claim that Suleiman is involved in a plan with the Americans against the opposition and to settle the Palestinians. What's your information on that?

A. I have no information; today I support Suleiman, if there is consensus with the other side. In the past, I was excluded politically and exiled and then I returned. In politics there are easy things and difficult things. But our nature helps us handle all of the surprises. This is our duty.

Q. General Aoun… what are you expecting in the days ahead?

A. Continue negotiating about the matter. As I said either we reach an agreement, and all the Lebanese want an agreement. And no one is ready to be responsible for rejecting a deal.

Q. Seyyed Nasrallah in his speech said George Bush told the March 14 alliance to wait and have patience until May. What does he mean by that? And also not to enter into any agreement with the opposition… General Aoun, you believe in everything I say but you don't wan to talk to me, why is that?

A. When we analyze and come to believe things, we can only present our opinions to people, as we might not have actual proof. There's been US intervention, and yesterday in Kuwait, Bush said he supports Siniora but not a presidential election, and said Hezbollah is a terrorist group. How can we elect Siniora, supported by the US, and Hezbollah is "terrorist?"

Q. Seyyed Nasrallah is your closest ally, General Aoun? You like each other so much. What do you say? You coordinate everything, but you don't want to talk to the press about it?

A. I take it into consideration but I don't act like it's my info.

Q. Listen to this very carefully General Aoun, it is very important. When Mr. Geagea returned to Lebanon from Paris, he received many visitors, including MP Anton Zahra. Zahra asked Geagea about Hezbollah. Geagea told Zahra: "Americans told me that they will get rid of Hezbollah very soon." And this was taped. Then Geagea asked his bodyguards to confiscate the tape. Month later the war against Hezbollah happened.

Seyyed Nasrallah, after the war said "I will reveal names, in due time, those people who conspired against Hezbollah and are working with Israelis against Hezbollah."

Now, is Mr. Geagea one of those names?

A. I can't say that, but I can say something about me. When I heard it at the time, I didn't act on it. A certain person told a journalist that "when Aoun returned to Paris, we left some heads here for him to clean up, but in a little while there won't be any left, and he will leave Lebanon." And in less than 2 weeks, the July War broke out. But this conclusion has arisen and this politician is close to Geagea's orientation. The politician who said that about me, about not having anyone left is close to Geagea's orientation.
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Postby haroun » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:47 am

Even cyber space is becoming choked with the pollution coming out this idot mouth. I couldn't read past the second answer before reaching for my inhaler.

"Resposibility of failure rests with others." Who?

"There was also an informative clarification on how the ruling group thinks and what they want." Did it take this long to understand them?

"Until now we haven't decided on the best way to go. We will announce it in time." It's clear that all this retard can do is hide behind the missiles of the terroists.

"They changed their position. It certainly wasn't me." Ballah Shou? how many times ya 3asfourieh bound you changed your mind just in last month?

Now the best Question: "General Aoun, does American want to punish you because of your excellent stances with Hezbollah?"

Here comes the answer history will always remember: "Certainly, not only the US but the whole world aginst me". Sounds like Saddam in his hay days.

"But the current government is like a board of directors, and not a Lebanese government." Oh yes, a Lebanese government should look like the one you presided over in the 80's. Wallah ft7al zamanak inrta ya abou leymoun.

About Jumblat: "He'd have to do many things before we trust him" Who cares if you trust him or not. It's you ya 3imad who have to come clean after aligning yourself with murderers and terrorists.

شمعون: حرام أن يعير احد عون أهمية لأن دواءه ليس عندنا بل في العصفورية
الجوزو: لقد سقط لبنان وسقطت حكوماته، بفضل إرهاب حزب الله
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Postby Prince Cadmus II » Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:19 pm

"The whole world is against me"
Oh no, the aliens are coming for me too, I can't change myself, the whole world has to change for me, everyone hates me, no one likes me....

Sounds like a little kid crying and having a whinge to his mother after being pushed around on the first day of high school....
Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining.
"Upon the Tsurian sea the people live who style themselves Phoenicians...
These were the first great founders of the world
Founders of cities and of mighty states"
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