Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

A message to Hariri | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri considers what happened to his [political] bloc as being virtually a “political coup d’etat” and he [also] expressed his “deep sense of betrayal.” He said that his father’s killers were the ones who were responsible for him being removed [from power], and he has every right to say this, however Hariri must remember that democracy itself is crooked.

Our democracy, as I previously described it, is an “Iranian democracy” where the winner loses, and the loser is the one who forms the government, along the lines of what happened in the recent Iranian presidential elections. As Lebanon today is being run by the “Supreme Guide” Hassan Nasrallah, we see the same method being adopted in this country.

For example, Nasrallah blamed the majority government because it did not do anything for the people; however he did not acknowledge that his men and Nabih Berri’s men surrounded Fouad Siniora’s residence for 538 days, and then later withdrew from the government, forcing its collapse. This is not to mention the innovation of their “blocking third” veto power. In light of all of this, how could any government serve the people? Hezbollah was not satisfied with their endless tricks, and indeed Omar Karami has responded to Nasrallah’s speech in which he claimed that he had refused to accept the position of prime minister due to his advanced age, saying “I listened to Sayyad Hassan [Nasrallah] during his address, in which he lamented me. Today I am standing before you, and I ask you to bear witness as media representatives, do I look ill to you?”

A further trick in Hezbollah’s repertoire was to undermine Lebanon’s ‘Day of Rage’, which had been called for by Hariri. Hezbollah sought to interfere and sabotage, and everyone knows that Hezbollah has infiltrated some Sunni areas [of Beirut] – which is something that I wrote about a few months ago – in order to generate inter-Sunni sedition. Have we forgotten, for example, the story of Sunni extremist Omar Bakri, who was released from prison [in Lebanon] after terrorist charges against him were dropped after he said that he acknowledged that Shiite Hezbollah was “Ahl al-Qibla” [i.e. Muslims, who pray in the direction of Mecca] and not “Rafidah” [Shiite Muslims who reject the caliphate of Muhammad’s two successors, Abu Bakr and Umar]? Interestingly, the lawyer representing him in this case was Hezbollah MP Nawar al-Sahili.

Therefore, the message to Hariri today is that whilst you may have lost the battle, you have not lost the war. Your war is to protect the state, and the most important means of guaranteeing this is the Special Tribunal for Lebanon completing its mandate and uncovering the killers of Rafik Hariri and his associates, regardless of the price. This will prevent bloodshed, ensure that Lebanon is protected, and ensure the continuation of Rafik Hariri’s message, for [Rafik Hariri] did not monopolize the Sunnis, but rather returned them to a state of strength, without firing a single bullet.

The government today is facing major challenges, and with all due respect to Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who is aware of the extent of my personal appreciation for him, the Lebanese [leadership] succession is not only an internal matter, but a regional one as well. We do not know if Mikati has cleared the air with the Gulf States, particularly as certain countries did not agree with the manner in which he came to power. Most importantly, Saudi Arabia’s acceptance of this appointment has yet to be confirmed, and we are aware that Saudi Arabia had announced that it was washing its hands of this issue. This is an extremely important issue, and Riyadh is currently warning its citizens from traveling to Lebanon. Of course, there is still the international community, especially Washington, which Prime Minister Mikati says is very important to him. However we do not know how this stance can be reconciled with the ‘defenders of the resistance’, especially considering that Nasrallah regards the Lebanese Sunnis as being disloyal merely because they have a relationship with the West!

So, former Prime Minister Hariri, your task is to protect the state, and the way to achieve this is via the completion of the international tribunal, which is what led to your being removed [from power] in the first place. So don’t stop…continue!