1) Listening to Aoun speaking, analysts may question the poor PR work that lead to what will go down in history as one of the worst performances of leadership at a time of crisis. Historians however may recall the better PR illustrated by the forged final speech of Constantin XI
3) The story of the emperor’s last speech, the tearful embraces and the commanders’ eager declarations of their readiness to die for their country and faith has been told and retold over the centuries as an inspiring example of defiant heroism and self-sacrifice
4) On the contrary, many first-hand accounts record that the Byzantines of Constantinople were decidedly unwilling to lay down their lives and that the most active defenders of the city were the Venetian and Genoese contingents.
5) Even if Aoun has to surrender the country to a govt lead by a general (reminds you anything?) before the forthcoming misery takes its toll, a fake speech with a set a la Bouteflika with the nobility of the forged C-XI speech may have preserved a memory of a fatherly figure.
6) the story of Constantinople and the choices made then are captured here: “In the final phase of Byzantine history, the willingness on the part of some Byzantines to accommodate themselves to the Turks was not necessarily cowardice or lack of ‘patriotism’ but a realisation..
7) .. that the Turks were a permanent feature of the political landscape who were not going to go away. “
8) This brings me to conclude by recalling an argument I had with a hard headed Aounist neighbour somewhere in Lebanon. He was convinced that the choice made by Aoun to shake hands with Iran, the strongest regional power then (2016) was the path to salvation for Christians.
9) Today’s speech was historical
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