Following are excerpts from an interview with Lebanese MP Antoine Andraos, which aired on Future TV on January 14, 2008:
Antoine Andraos: First of all, Hizbullah does not constitute all of Lebanon. Secondly, Michel Aoun... I am not opposed to forging alliances in Lebanon. The thing is that throughout their history in Lebanon, the Christians have forged their alliances with the moderate Muslims. I'd like to ask the Christians who support [Aoun's] Free Patriotic Movement if they consider Hizbullah and its supporters to be moderate. Today, Michel Aoun is allying the Christians with the fundamentalists – both Sunnis and Shiites. Let's not forget his alliance with what's-his-name from Tripoli... Fathi Yakan, with the Ba'thists, and with Abd Al-Rahim Murrad. All these alliances between Christians and fundamentalist Muslims are unnatural.
The Christians have always sought stability and forged alliances with the moderates. We do not expect Aoun to forge an alliance with Sa'd Al-Hariri, but at the very least, he should avoid bringing his supporters into conflict with the moderate Druze and Sunnis. We live in a moderate Sunni Arab environment. With all due respect to Michel Aoun, there isn't a single family in Lebanon that does not have members working in Arab countries. If he wants to lead the Christians into a clash with the Arab countries and with the Sunnis, he will be leading the Christians to the edge of the abyss, to suicide.
Michel Aoun has a sectarian message. He keeps saying to his supporters: We have an alliance with the Shiite and Alawite minorities in the region. This is a mistake. It constitutes high treason against our Arab environment.
We are not afraid. We will persevere. We say to Nasrallah that we will persevere, just like him. We have a lot of patience. This country belongs to all moderate Lebanese – not to the armed militias that set one sect against the other. The threats we hear from Hassan Nasrallah on a daily basis only make us more determined. Just like he says he will persevere – so will we. We are not afraid. We say to President Hosni Mubarak that he can rely on us, and we will persevere in confronting the destruction caused by the terrorist Syrian regime. Bush forgot to mention Syria is a terrorist state, just like Iran. All our Arab brothers are familiar with the terrorist reach of the Syrian regime – not only in Lebanon, but in other Arab countries as well.
A new war against Israel in July – is that what will save Lebanon? How does Hizbullah guarantee that it won't start another war with Israel?
Interviewer: How does Israel guarantee to you that it won't launch another war against Lebanon? You invited this question...
Antoine Andraos: With all due respect, no one will convince us otherwise... Who started the war with Israel? Hizbullah did. The whole world knows this, and we should stop treating people like idiots. Even our Shiite brothers know this. If they could only speak out – but of course, there are 30,000 armed men watching them... If they could only speak out, they would have spoken out and rebelled a long time ago. Unfortunately, there is a militia that surrounds them, preventing them from making a move.