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Saad Hariri Not Giving Up

Saad Hariri has not yet began to fight:

Addressing thousands of his supporters in Beirut, Hariri accused Hezbollah and its allies of “lies, betrayal and lack of loyalty.”

He called for mass protests on March 14 and made clear he would not take part in a unity government.

“Our mistake may have been that we extended our hand truthfully every time,” Hariri said, speaking of his fallen government, which the U.S. and other Western powers supported. “But we were met every time with deceit, and our genuine intention was taken as a point of weakness and a sign of fear.”

Lebanon’s outgoing prime minister said Monday he is joining the opposition, signaling he will be a fierce opponent of Hezbollah after the Iranian-backed militant group forced the collapse of his government last month.

Outstanding. However, let’s review why he was ousted to begin with:

Hariri was ousted as prime minister last month in a dispute over an investigation into who killed his father. An international tribunal set up to try his killers has yet to identify the perpetrators.

But the U.N.-backed tribunal is widely expected to accuse Hezbollah members of involvement in the killing. The militant group and its allies walked out of the previous government after Saad Hariri refused to denounce the tribunal. …

Hezbollah has denounced the tribunal as an “Israeli project” and a conspiracy against the group. Its leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, has said he will “cut off the hand” that tries to arrest any of its members.

Saad Hariri is not having anything to do with the new government:

[Lebanon's new Prime Minister Najib] Mikati, who is struggling to form a new Cabinet, has called on Hariri and his allies to join in a unity government. He has said he will not end Lebanon’s cooperation with the court* – which Hezbollah has been calling for – unless there is national consensus.

But Hariri said Monday he would not join the government.

“We congratulate them on a majority that was hijacked by the intimidation of weapons and we congratulate them on a power that was stolen from the will of the voters,” Hariri said.

He said he was joining the opposition and that commitment to the tribunal would be one of his priorities.

Sleeping with the devil once already was enough for Saad Hariri, it would seem. Better late to the party than not showing up all.

While I like Saad Hariri’s new hard line against Hezbollah, I fear he is setting himself up to be martyr. Because Barack Obama is too busy waring with Clinton to care:

On Saturday, the Times, quoting numerous White House sources, sought to explain the Obama administration’s erratic policy statements during the Egyptian crisis.

The paper reported that Obama was “seething” over State Department officials’s statement suggesting that the administration did not want a quick transition of power in Egypt, with President Hosni Mubarak stepping down from his office immediately.

Obama felt that the State Department “made it look as if the administration were protecting a dictator and ignoring the pleas of the youths of Cairo.”

As Secretary Clinton and her special envoy Frank Wisner repeatedly called for an orderly transition that would include President Mubarak remaining in office for at least a period of time, Obama and his team studiously sought to undermine the State Department stance.

The Times states that Mr. Obama “was furious” about Clinton’s and Wisner’s statements, “as Mr. Obama was demanding that change in Egypt begin right away.”

Secretary Clinton was not the only figure who opposed Obama’s view. Clinton was joined by Vice President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who also were advocating that Obama adhere to a cautious and more traditional foreign policy approach toward the situation in Egypt.

Unhappy about the mixed signals high-ranking officials were giving, Obama intervened directly, telling White House advisers that “this was not the message we should be delivering.”

According to the Times, the Obama White House even recruited Democratic Sen. John Kerry to appear on “Meet the Press” last Sunday to contradict Wisner’s statements that reflected Secretary Clinton’s views. Wisner’s comments “just don’t reflect where the administration has been from day one,” Kerry said on the program.

It would be funny if people’s lives were not on the line over this turf war. So Saad Hariri, if you are reading, I have some advice:

Good luck. You are, more or less, on your own. It is amateur hour (7:20) in the Obama Administration and there seem to be no end to the immaturity in sight. Obama hates his current top diplomat and would replace her if he could. It doesn’t matter who (Obama and Hillary Clinton) was right on Egypt, the fact that they were not on the same page should make all of us worried.

Still, there is hope. Fighting Hezbollah directly is a lost cause, because they are supported by and they answer to Iran. You know, if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were to lose power… I’m just saying it could happen

[Cross-Posted On Practical State.com]

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*I don’t believe that and neither should you. Hezbollah would not allow him to become PM if he honestly didn’t want to end cooperation with the U.N.-backed tribunal.

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