A new proposal for a fast-tracked bill submitted by MP Ali Hassan Khalil would pay an additional one million Lebanese pounds a month cost of living bonus to military personnel over a period of six month. Alan Sarkis commented on this proposal in the newspaper “Nidaa al-Watan” saying that sources have asserted that the army commander and leadership had not been officially informed of Khalil’s proposal. Furthermore, nothing regarding the issue was discussed with them at all. Therefore, the military forces are not concerned with the matter, as it the proposal was not issued from Yarzeh.
ٍSarkis added that the military leadership had denied any connection between giving soldiers their rights and suppressing the citizens. The decision from Yarzeh is clear in that there ought to be no clash with citizens who are protesting in demand of their rights. All what is being said about giving soldiers their dues would allow them to oppress these protests and submit to the government is untrue.
Since the outbreak of the October 17th uprising, the army has taken a national position that emphasizes protecting demonstrators and understanding the anger of the people. At the same time, it has preserved stability and prevented sedition and the destruction of private and public property. All that is being rumored about the use of the Army as a tool for repression is incorrect and cannot be further from the truth. This holds truth whether they increase salaries by 1 million or even 10!
The Commander of the Army chose to stand on the side of the people and the country, according to criteria he set independently. He has imposed the army as a strong player on the ground while preventing any realignment with existing forces one way or another. He also laughs off the frequent smear campaigns launched against him by some presidential hopefuls. He simply wants to carry out his mission to the fullest and is not looking for political gains. In fact, he is only interested in the wellbeing and satisfaction of the military and the people who are the source of all authority. He finds in his beloved hometown of Ayshiye in Jezzine a perfect destination to settle in after retirement, as it surpasses all the possible positions that the people in politics fight over.