Choosing the wrong person at the wrong time

Whoever presents Hariri as a saviour is mocking the Lebanese people in the most difficult of times.
Thursday 08/04/2021
Lebanon’s prime minister-designate Saad Hariri giving an official speech, before a portrait of his late father former prime minister Rafik Hariri, February 14, 2021 in Beirut. (AFP)
Lebanon’s prime minister-designate Saad Hariri giving an official speech, before a portrait of his late father former prime minister Rafik Hariri, February 14, 2021 in Beirut. (AFP)

Other than being the eldest son of the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, what does Saad Hariri possess of the qualities that qualify him to be a permanent fixture in Lebanon as prime minister-designate or nominee?

The man is not new to this position. Twice, he held the role of prime minister. There was never added value nor special distinction while he was at the helm.

The Lebanese do not remember that he took any positive positions. He was there only as the heir of his father from whom he did not inherit knowledge, competence, skill  nor ability to distinguish between what could  harm him and what would  be good for him.

Hariri, the father did not pass on any of the characteristics of political leadership to his son. It is obviously easy to pass judgment on Saad Hariri, a man who suddenly emerged in politics without the benefit of political culture or exceptional qualities deserving of attention.

He rose to the leadership of the Future Movement for reasons that had nothing to with his personality.

But the man could have been just unlucky because he emerged in difficult circumstances that would have overwhelmed any politician, whatever his calibre.

But that may not be entirely true.

Saad Hariri has proven throughout all his years of leadership that he does not belong to the category of traditional politicians who conduct public affairs in a predominantly cautious, slow and minute manner, at times even in annoying proportions.

Also he was not a rebellious, independent nor angry politician who uttered sweeping words in the face of forces that were intent on seizing Lebanon, its state, wealth, location and position.

Also, Hariri cannot be described as a middle-of-the-way kind of person.

Therefore, it is difficult to list him among heads of government who have left their mark in public life.

He is a man who would be forgotten had it not been for the great damage he has left behind him because of his failed economics and politics.   He was not redeemed by any type of connecton with the public. People felt they had to accept him since he was the sole representative of the Sunni community in a sectarian system under which the Sunnis obtained the post of prime minister.

He has been a failed businessman who led all his economic ventures into bankruptcy.

A failed politician who had every opportunity for success after his father was treacherously assassinated, except that he did not stand in the way of his father’s killers.

On the contrary, his dull and fluid presence allowed these killers to achieve what they could not during the time of Hariri, the father.

They expanded their role from their sectarian confines to those of the government, whose role has actually receded, and through it to the state, which has become an additional playground of the Iranian ayatollahs.

In practical terms, the presence of Saad Hariri at the head of the Sunni community, being its political representative in the sectarian system, has caused the community many disasters.

This has led to the decline of the community’s role in Lebanese political life.

The hard-line, impulsive and reckless reactions of some Sunni groups have been nothing but futile attempts to recover that role.

Hariri was virtually disconnected from the constituency he represented. He dealt with that constituency through advisers and transactional aides who had no goal but to increase their wealth behind the cover of politics.

But the man was not a victim of his advisers.

After the kingdom of Saudi Arabia lavished a lot of money him in the days of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz in order to strengthen his political position, shore up his political role at the head of the Sunni community and preserve Lebanon’s sectarian makeup, it became clear that this money went to his personal accounts and was spent for his own benefit, with the Lebanese themselves reaping no economic or  political gain.

The Saudis have squandered their money on a man who did not deserve it.

In the final analysis, it can be said that the man who was placed by his lineage in an inappropriate role, has not learned much in fifteen years. In particular, he did not learn anything that would have made him worthy of that role.

It may be laughable for this man to call for a technocratic government that he will lead.

How is that right when he himself is no technocrat?

Hariri does not have any talent or aptitude and is not proficient in any occupation. Not to mention that he is a man without political imagination.

Unfortunately for Lebanon, it chose a personally-failed man who can only lead it to its demise.

Whoever presents Hariri as a saviour is mocking the Lebanese people in their most difficult days.