Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hariri Tribunal

I rarely comment on this silly exercise. Comrade Omar Nashabe of Al-Akhbar has written extensively on all the problems that mar the process of this potato court. Where do you begin? The first German investigator Mellis who gave political interviews right and left and never hid his political agenda? The fact that the Western press has UNIFORMLY covered up the corruption of the case? Did any US newspaper report that the second-in-command of the court went around offering sales of tapes of interviews with key witnesses and New TV obtained them and aired them? That what we heard from those tapes show beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was a most unprofessional and corrupt proceeding, even in comparison to the corrupt justice system in Lebanon? That the Hariri family were allowed to control the entire affair and to provide witnesses some of whom turned out to be false witnesses? That we have a tape in which Hariri and his aides are feeding and influencing the testimony of the worst false witness in the case, Muhammad Zuhayr As-Siddiq? That the meetings with the tribunal's people were clearly (from the tapes of New TV) chit chat sessions? American traffic courts are run more professionally. Or the negotiations between the court and the Hariri family to delay the release of the four generals? Or the arrest of the four generals for purely political reasons?? One of the four generals talked about how he got an offer for cooperation if he fingered Syria. And what about those Wikileaks documents that show court's higher ups taking instructions from US diplomats? And about an investigation that started with a premise and ruled out any ally of the US from the suspects' list? And what about the shift in targeting from Syria to Hizbullah following shifts in US and Saudi foreign policies? What about the timing? All this time and just as the cabinet in Lebanon was forming, they release the report and leak the names? All this is a coincidence? And was one Israeli official ever questioned (although I believe that Rafiq Hariri was a good friend of Israel and its interests in Lebanon and for that I never mourned him but I did mourn the innocent civilians who died there--car bombs are nasty, man). And what about the series of resignations from the court? And what about the way in which the court officially refused to address legal concerns of the four generals? Do you have doubts that the court is run from the Near East section of the State Department? Who are you fooling? Today, they leaked that they will accuse Syria and Hizbullah, but why not Venezuela and Cuba? Why not point the finger at every enemy of the US and Israel? Why not Hamas too? You think anyone is taking the court seriously? Look at public opinion polls in Lebanon, even among Sunnis. Hasan Nasrallah did an excellent job in discrediting the court in Lebanese and Arab eyes. This is a joke, really. So they leaked the name of four Hizbullah members (supplied by ISRAEL NO DOUBT). What is next? Will Sa`d Hariri take his supporters to the southern suburbs to arrest the accused? What will the "international community"--how I hate that word which is used to hide not so sneakily the heavy handed US role in international affairs--do? What can they do? Freeze the assets of Hasan Nasrallah in the US and Europe? Or will they ban him from traveling with his grand kids to Disney Land? As we say in Lebanon, go play in the garden. Israel killed more than 1300 civilians in the July war on Lebanon in 2006, and you want me to spend sleepless nights wondering who killed a man who did so much to cause destruction and discord in Lebanon? I don't care to know who killed Hariri and Sa`d Hariri is not the first creature to lose his father. I lost my father but never brought Lebanon to the brink of civil war. Take down all the pictures and statues of Rafiq Hariri and move his grave site to Sidon--to the Garbage Mountain there.

PS It bothers me how submissive the mainstream US press is to the dictates of US government. I don't recall reading one negative article about Hariri in any US newspaper. Not one. I can't recall reading one in the British press--and I am not talking about Robert Fisk who is an unreliable weaver of tales and peddler of Hariri press office releases.