Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hariri hagiography

"The greatest problem with the book, however, pertains to what goes unmentioned, uninvestigated. Blanford’s identification with an institutional narrative of Rafik Hariri’s person has seemingly led him to assimilate the institution’s own taboos. Hariri began his political career in the 1980s as a Saudi national and the personal envoy of King Fahd and was regarded throughout this period as a representative of Saudi policy in Lebanon; but nothing is uttered about the political dynamics between Hariri and Riyadh beyond 1985. Equally, some of the most important junctures in Hariri’s career are sidestepped, notably the 2000 parliamentary elections, a real watershed that crowned Hariri as a lone “Sunni” leader and ended the influence of long-reigning political dynasties. In sum, Blanford’s book does not document or interrogate the process through which."