I do not have much pity for Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is being hit from all directions. Just like his father, late PM Rafik Hariri, the son may end his life at the same place, under the same circumstances, and through the work of the same elements.
Nobody forced Hariri to be a pathetic prime minister who has no influence. As opposed to his charismatic father, he just doesn’t have what it takes; he keeps on showing himself to be a spineless, scared politician who prefers to flee to Paris or to his Saudi patrons when the going gets tough.
Through his mediocre struggle for survival, undertaken along with his babysitters from Washington, Paris, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Hariri Junior is turning out to be woefully under-qualified for the job he clings to.
The Lebanese prime minister is merely a button. The moment the decision is taken to get rid of him, a vehicle will rush towards him or an explosive device will be detonated. In the real battle between the Saudi royal house and Syria’s presidential palace, nobody really counts him.
Meanwhile, Hariri himself no longer dreams of avenging his father’s assassination and spinelessly went to meet Nasrallah (his father’s executioner) and Assad (the assassination’s mastermind); the only thing he cares about is survival.
However, Damascus is not giving up the games of humiliation. Assad issued detention orders for 33 prominent Beirut VIPs – the justice minister, the state prosecutor, parliamentarians, ambassadors, jurists, and veteran journalists. It’s easy to identify the common denominator of the names on the list: All of them had been marked as Hariri associates and all of them dared criticize Syria.
Hezbollah gaining strengthNot only did Assad force Hariri to submissively report in Damascus five times and embrace the person he believes sent the assassination squad that killed his father, the Syrian president is now signaling that he does not intend to let go until Lebanon demands to call off the probes into the Hariri killing. As far as he is concerned, Hariri can go ahead and beg for his life.
Assad’s brutality shows that he has something to lose should the full picture be revealed. One person who was familiar with the secrets, Ghazi Kanaan, had been assassinated. The second one, former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam, fled for his life to Paris. He too tops the most wanted lists now.
On Wednesday, the cameramen will be ordered to accompany Ahmadinejad’s provocative visit. The Iranian president forced himself upon Hariri and dictated the timetable. In Beirut, he will open his bags and pull out financial promises. Later, his aides will provide Hezbollah’s leaders with plenty of cash.
It’s important to make a distinction between the nuclear Iranian threat and the gradual plan being implemented in the field: Lebanon is the most prominent country in the list of targets earmarked by the Ayatollahs in a bid to expand their influence and capture outposts that would move them closer to the ultimate goal – open a road through Iraq, establish bases in Lebanon, flank through Africa, and complete the circle by taking over Muslim holy sites in Saudi Arabia.
Harari has not yet decided whether his headaches originate in Tehran or whether the real problem lies in Damascus. For the time being, he holds on to his chair, yet at any moment now he may sustain another kick to a sensitive body part. So what if he doesn’t want Ahmadinejad to visit the border with Israel - who’s asking Hariri anyway? So what if he’s trying to ignore the most wanted list produced by Damascus? To be honest, Israel disregards him too.
The essence of the bad news is as follows: Hezbollah gains more power every day. For the time being it’s unclear whether it will be joining forces with both Iran and Syria, or whether one of these axis-of-evil members will be granted exclusivity.
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