Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sa'ad Hariri Has Earned An Extended Vacation

I have no doubt in my mind that Sa’ad Hariri is an honest well meaning individual who has a strong desire to avenge his fathers assassination and continue his fathers political mission of establishing a thriving Lebanese economy. Political leadership however, requires more than a desire to succeed. It requires political vision, the ability to communicate and motivate voters, the talent to convince friends and negotiate with opponents over and above the moral courage to stand up to the adversaries and take a stand for what is right. You have got to have the right stuff and it has been painfully obvious that Sa’ad Hariri does not. Under less challenging conditions youth, family lineage and enthusiasm will go a long way in covering up a less than stellar performance but Lebanon is facing another near death experience and is not in a position to settle for mediocrity.
Mr. Hariri has already squandered many opportunities to act decisively and help pull Lebanon from its self inflicted quagmire. He has failed to capitalize on the enormous good will that the tragic assassination of his father created the world over. All what he needed to do was to transform the Al Mustaqbal movement into a truly national political party that is diverse and that is not guided by empty slogans but based on principles and ideas. His ineffective leadership was not capable of dealing with the theatrics of the opposition that was allowed to effectively run the country and dictate its policies. He has either directly or indirectly helped perpetuate an environment in Lebanon, a country of 4.5 million people, that is totally obsessed with the results of the international tribunal investigating his father’s assassination, at the expense of governing. Rafic Hariri has done a lot for Lebanon and I am willing to bet that he would not have approved of the personality cult that his son and other s around him are still obsessed with. Political heroes belong to the public and no amount of official efforts by government will create a lasting memory. But probably his biggest failure is his inability to form a Lebanese cabinet even though his parliamentary bloc represents 55% of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies. He has spent two months conducting ineffective negotiations with all political factions in Lebanon and has been in constant contact with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, France, and the Gulf states to no avail. Was he designated to form a Lebanese Cabinet or a general Secretariat of the United Nations? The way that individuals respond during crisis is the best indication of their caliber. Unfortunately when Mr. Hariri was faced with the impossibility of placating all regional and European governments and all factions in Lebanon instead of doubling his efforts or admitting that his approach at 100% inclusivity is suicidal and ill informed he decides to go to Paris on a vacation. Well guess what Mr. Hariri, the state cannot take a vacation, there is pressing business that needs to be done and it is more apparent than ever that the Cedar Revolution deserves an effort to resuscitate it from near death. It is always helpful in such situations to recall the popular adage of the plain spoken ex United States president, Harry Truman, “If you cannot stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen.”


iglina said...

couldn't have said it better. hariri does not have the nerves to handle a political crises and escaped abroad when first difficulties arose. he should step back and let pm saniora return to the premiership.

danny said...


Good read! It seems that Seniora will be the next PM unless Future wants to divest itself from running the country and offer it to mikati..


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